Feeds

China softens duty-free stance to revive global IT trade talks

Deal aims to cut tariffs on $800bn of worldwide ICT trade

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Global trade talks aimed at removing tariffs on a swathe of technology products are set to restart within weeks after China finally agreed to reverse a hardline decision which threatened to derail the ambitious plans.

The World Trade Organisation talks aim to update the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA) by adding an extra 260 products to a duty-free list.

According to some estimates, this could see the removal of tariffs on at least $800bn in ICT trade and expand global GDP by $190bn.

Chinese negotiators came in for some harsh criticism back in July when they demanded that 106 of the 260 items be exempted from the discussions. Some argued at the time that the Middle Kingdom was trying to have its cake and eat it, as it would benefit enormously from the elimination of tariffs.

However, in a series of meetings in Bali last week, China took a more conciliatory tone, indicating that it was prepared to shorten the list of products it wants excluded, according to the FT.

As a result, talks could apparently begin in earnest before the month is out with a finalised deal potentially in the offing by December.

In another sign China is ready to take a more active role in global technology trade talks, it has also formally applied to join discussions on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).

This separate standalone agreement between the EU and over 20 WTO members, which is set to take longer to thrash out than the ITA, will aim to ease cross-border trade in areas such as ICT, e-commerce and government procurement, according to the European Commission.

However, despite current participants representing over two-thirds of the annual worldwide trade in services, global manufacturing giant India has so far refused to co-operate. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.