The wide range of computer products for which tariffs have been removed under this agreement is contained in Schedules A and B of the Annex of the Agreement. Recognizing the rapid advances in computer technology, the agreement calls for an annual product review to extend coverage to new products. The WTO ITA Committee has also begun work on non-tariff measures for the sector. The Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a trade agreement that removes tariffs on hundreds of information and communication technology (ICT) products, was one of the most successful trade agreements in the history of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Membership of ITA forces countries to abolish tariffs, and reduces the costs of these ICT capital goods, which increase innovation and productivity, boosting their acceptance and consumption by businesses and consumers. As ICTs have become the most powerful drivers of the modern global economy for economic growth, ITA membership can play an important role in stimulating economic growth in all developing countries, in part through integration into global value chains for the production of ict goods and services. This report assesses the expected economic consequences of Indonesia and Vietnam`s accession to the recent expansion of the Information Technology Agreement and the full accession of Laos and Sri Lanka to itA. Chart 2 ITA expansion: estimated value of trade covered by the agreement, per member, 2011-2013 After 17 rounds of negotiations, on Saturday 18 July 2015, negotiators came close to an agreement on a list of products for the extension of ITA and a draft declaration explaining how the agreement will be implemented. The report notes that MEMBERSHIP of the ITA would boost economic growth in Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Kenya, Pakistan and South Africa, with some growth in the first year after accession, but much more over ten years. Despite concerns expressed by some about the shortfall in tariffs as a result of ITA membership, the report notes that, in the tenth year following ITA accession, two of the countries – Argentina and Kenya – would generate tax revenues that go beyond the tariffs removed, while South Africa would be close and Chile and Pakistan would recover two-thirds to three-quarters of the shortfall in customs officer.
The table below summarizes key findings on the impact of economic growth and the impact on tax revenues of the six countries that join the ITA. In the end, the growth and development gains of an ITA entry far outweigh the short-term losses in tariff revenue that may occur. In December 1996, 29 WTO member countries launched the ITA, a new trade agreement in which participating nations completely eliminate tariffs on eight categories of information and communication technology products (such as semiconductors, semiconductor equipment, computers and telecommunications equipment). In 2012, Member States began negotiations on the development of ITA due to the considerable success of it in adding innovative tic products marketed since 1996, as well as certain ict categories that are not included in the original agreement. ItA expansion negotiations were concluded in December 2015 and the parties agreed to add 201 new high-tech products, such as next-generation integrated multi-component circuits, touch screens, GPS navigation devices and medical devices such as pacemakers and ITA-covered ultrasound scanners. The extension, which the WTO estimates will eliminate tariffs to an additional $1.3 trillion in global trade in ICT parts and products, representing about 10% of world merchandise trade, was the first major WTO tariff reduction agreement in 19 years.