Consumer Electronics Association Blames China For Stalling Negotiations

Negotiations have been suspended due to a lack of progress by the Chinese delegation on its negotiation position for expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, according to a statement from the U.S.-based Consumer Electronics Association.

Sage Chandler, vice president for international trade at the Consumer Electronics Association, says no date to resume negotiations have been announced.

Chandler says, "We are concerned that China delayed the prospects of a tariff reducing deal this week for IT products. China is asking for the removal of more than 100 products from the ITA negotiation, which cannot be viewed as a meaningful effort. As a result, negotiations in Geneva have been officially suspended. The Chinese position should be responsible, with a serious but limited list of products it wishes to exclude from lower tariffs. We want to work with China to ensure this deal is finalized as soon as possible, but in order to be a partner in the ITA negotiations, reciprocal treatment is required. CEA urges conclusion of the negotiations no later than the December 2013 Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia."

Chandler is part of a larger U.S. industry delegation in Geneva advocating for the conclusion of the expansion negotiations.

The ITA has reportedly not been updated since its creation 16 years ago. An expanded ITA could remove tariffs on an estimated additional USD800 billion in information and communication technology trade globally.

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