The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to news that an agreement has been reached to expand the World Trade Organization (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA).
"RILA welcomes the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement," said Hun Quach, vice president for international trade. "By eliminating duties, which today are as high as 30 percent on many common consumer products, the agreement will save consumers in the United States millions of dollars, while also creating new opportunities for American businesses around the world. We commend the United States and its international trading partners for reaching a landmark deal this week at the WTO Ministerial. We look forward to learning more about the staging periods of the final agreement and the many ways that it can be utilized to benefit American consumers."
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA) provides duty-free treatment in over 50 signatory countries for information and communication technology goods, regardless of where the goods are produced. Since its inception in 1996, the ITA has helped drive innovation, accelerate productivity, increase employment, create more efficient markets, lower consumer prices, and bridge communities across the globe. RILA has supported efforts to expand the ITA that could save U.S. retailers and consumers millions of dollars in duties each year on products such as speakers, headphones, and video cameras. Retailers will begin to enjoy the benefits of the ITA tariff cuts starting on July 1, 2016.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.