The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) applauded the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for challenging tariffs imposed by European Union (EU) countries on U.S. technology products that impact the ability of American companies to export to Europe. Specifically, USTR today requested consultations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and challenged the EU’s refusal to remove duties on technology products in compliance with the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).
Through the ITA, 70 WTO member countries have agreed to eliminate customs duties on more than 97% of world trade information technology products, including hardware, software, components, semiconductors and equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing.
“Technological innovation has added exciting new capabilities to our industry’s products covered by the ITA,” said Michael Petricone, CEA senior vice president of government affairs. “The global high-tech industry urges that this market-opening agreement be maintained and that the ITA commitment to ‘bind and eliminate’ duties on covered products is respected.
“Low-cost, high-technology products are good for both developed and developing economies, and good for our member companies. Misclassification of currently covered products by the EU could set a disastrous precedent and undermine the future success and relevance of the ITA. The EU’s attempt to subject members to tariffs on products previously classified as duty-free should be resolved in the WTO, and we commend USTR for seeking consultations to rectify the situation.”