A Broad Coalition Urges Progress on Achievable Trade Deal

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The expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is both an ambitious and achievable trade deal that can be completed this year.  But it’s going to require a lot more sweat equity from the private sector, as well as the Obama Administration.  That’s the message ITI and 19 other major economic and business organizations today sent in a letter to President Obama.  In that letter, the heads of those organizations said:

 

"We are sending this letter now because momentum is building in Geneva to complete the expansion effort by the end of July.  Significant progress has been achieved since talks commenced last May, with negotiators meeting nearly every month to develop and refine the list of products for expansion.  Strong, sustained, high-level U.S. political leadership, however, will be necessary to get the work across the finish line and achieve a significant trade win for the United States and the global economy this year."

The ITA would give a significant boost to the U.S. economy and economies around the world.  For the United States, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has reported:

  

[A]n expanded ITA could remove tariffs on at least an additional $800 billion in ICT trade globally, a 20 percent increase over the $4 trillion now covered annually.  Moreover, ITIF estimates that ITA expansion would increase U.S. exports of ICT products by $2.8 billion, boost revenues of U.S. ICT firms by $10 billion, and support creation of approximately 60,000 new U.S. jobs throughout the economy.

 

These new benefits would build on a 16-year record of success. The ITA has eliminated tariffs on a broad swath of technology products, leading to increased trade, the creation of new manufacturing, and major job expansion.  From 1996 to 2008, total two-way global trade in information and communications technology (ICT) products increased more than 10 percent annually, from $1.2 trillion to $4.0 trillion.

Our letter makes clear the opportunity is within our grasp to conclude these talks this year and secure a major win for the U.S. economy.  We stand ready to help the President achieve this goal.

The economic and business leaders who signed today’s letter today are: 

  • Cal Cohen, President, Emergency Committee for American Trade
  • Christopher J. Dodd, Chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America
  • Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Evan R. Gaddis, President and CEO, National Electrical Manufacturers Association
  • Michael D. Gallagher, President and CEO, Entertainment Software Association  
  • Dean Garfield, President and CEO, Information Technology Industry Council
  • Robert W. Holleyman II, President & CEO, BSA | The Software Alliance
  • Sandy Kennedy, President, Retail Industry Leaders Association   
  • Bruce Mehlman, Executive Director, Tech CEO Council
  • Dennis McGuirk, President and CEO, SEMI          
  • Shawn Osborne, President and CEO, TechAmerica          
  • Rey Ramsey, President and CEO, TechNet
  • William A. Reinsch, President, National Foreign Trade Council    
  • Peter M. Robinson, President and CEO, United States Council for International Business              
  • Grant Seiffert, President, Telecommunications Industry Association
  • Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association       
  • Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers             
  • Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, CompTIA
  • Brian C. Toohey, President & CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association 
  • Ken Wasch, President, Software & Information Industry Association      

Read more about the tech sector’s work to expand the ITA’s job-creating role:

 

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