The EU and 23 other WTO members are set to commit to the ITA II agreement
Richard Bell

British exports set for £113m boost following ‘landmark’ IT free trade deal

A new agreement concluded yesterday (December 16) by the intergovernmental World Trade Organisation (WTO) to lower the price of IT goods could boost British exporting by £113m.

Negotiations came to a close on the WTO’s second Information Technology Agreement (ITA II), a free trade deal to cut tariffs on 90% of trade in items such as headphones, navigations systems, games consoles and medical equipment such as MRI apparatus.

The move is the biggest tariff deal since the WTO was established in 1995 as it eliminates tariffs on 10% of global trade, the equivalent of $1.3tn.

Commenting on the deal, Lord Maude, the Trade and Investment Minister, said: “This landmark free trade agreement will not only boost UK IT exports, but also has the potential to lower prices for consumers on a range of items such as headphones and games consoles.

“Zero tariffs on UK exports where we already lead the field, such as medical devices and precision equipment, will boost sales by a projected £113m further strengthening our economy.”

The EU and 23 other WTO members are set to commit to the ITA II agreement.

Welcoming the deal, Tim Lount, the vice president of residential products at PA system manufacturer Tannoy, said: “Tannoy has a healthy export business into China’s expanding luxury goods market and this agreement can only have a positive effect on sales of UK goods into the region.

“We very much welcome the ITA II deal and see it as a real boost for UK businesses selling into these emerging markets.”

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