More duty free tech
16 years ago the U.S. entered into a very forward-thinking agreement through the World Trade Organization, that allowed us to ship things like computers and semiconductors duty free around the world. But that was 1996 – the tech bubble was just being inflated and everybody was woozy from the Macarena. Who could ask for anything more? Now is the time, apparently, as U.S. Trade Representatives are in negotiations with the WTO to expand the list goods covered in the Information Technology Agreement, to include newer technologies like flat-panel screens, GPS systems, and home gaming systems.
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, estimates expanding the pact could remove tariffs on an additional $800 billion in world trade.
That has the potential to increase U.S. exports $2.8 billion annually, helping “to create approximately 60,000 new U.S. jobs throughout the economy,” the ITIF said in a recent report.
Other major partners such as China, Japan, and the EU are on board with the expansion, and prospects are looking good for the agreement to be amended within a year.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.