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China IT Trade Tariffs

by: May 21,2014 1318 Views 0 Comments Posted in Engineering Technical

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US-led negotiations to reduce tariffs on a wide range of electronic goods are set to resume within weeks after China indicated it would shorten a list of products it had wanted excluded that caused the plurilateral IT trade talks to collapse in July electronics. The move came as China also submitted a formal bid to join negotiations to reach a separate agreement on regulating the $4tn annual global trade in services. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs electronics and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales. Together, the moves by China are important as electronics they indicate a willingness by Beijing to join US-led plurilateral negotiations outside the World Trade Organisation framework. US officials had raised concerns over China’s bid to join the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) discussions after Beijing took a hard line in the IT negotiations.

But China sought to assuage those concerns in Bali last week in meetings with the US and other participants electronics in the IT talks. It also sought to reassure the US and others that it did not want to play a blocking role in the services negotiations. The US and other countries suspended talks to update the 1996 Information Technology Agreement after China this summer submitted a list of more than 100 products it wanted kept off the 256-product list at the centre of the negotiations electronics. But trade officials said on Sunday that as a result of the meetings in Bali those talks were expected to resume in Geneva as soon as October 21 electronics.

“It’s a very significant breakthrough,” said Michael Punke, the US ambassador to the WTO and Washington’s lead negotiator in both the IT and services talks. The US and 19 other members of the electronics WTO have been trying to craft a plurilateral deal that would expand the IT deal. China’s participation is seen as crucial because of its role as the world’s leading exporter of IT products. With the resumption of the IT talks the hope, trade officials said, was that the countries could conclude a deal before the WTO ministerial meeting electronics in Bali in December. But one trade official cautioned that “there is still a lot of negotiating to do” on the new IT agreement. “There is still a line by line slog that will go on.” The services discussions are expected to take electronics much longer and China’s bid to join is likely to add complications.

The US is expected to present China’s formal request to join the discussions to the two dozen other participants by the end of this week. The participants, which include the EU as a bloc and Hong Kong, represent some 70 per cent of the global trade in services annually. electronics The notable exception is India, the developing world’s services giant, which has not expressed any interest in joining the talks electronics.

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