The ITA, which concluded in 1996 at the first WTO Ministerial Conference, requires its participants to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of computer products worth approximately $1.7 trillion annually. This publication examines the evolution of the agreement over the past two decades, notably through the recent expansion of the ITA, which eliminates tariffs on 201 additional computer products worth more than $1.3 trillion per year. After 17 rounds of negotiations, negotiators agreed on Saturday, July 18, 2015 on a list of products for the expansion of it, as well as a draft declaration defining the implementation of the agreement. Fifty-four WTO members participated in the negotiations to expand ITA coverage. Almost all participants confirmed their agreement on the product coverage list, which was finalized on July 24. Together, they account for about 90% of the world`s trade in the products proposed for inclusion in the product expansion. The agreement is open to all other members who wish to join. According to a 2017 World Trade Review study, the enlargement of the ITA in 2015 is “the most successful attempt at trade liberalization under the auspices of the WTO since its inception in 1995.”  The study attributes the success of the negotiations to four factors: “a narrower scope without a single approach for business, a negotiating group that included many but not all WTO members, the focus on tariffs rather than non-tariff barriers and the prevention of nationalist opposition.”  Hong Kong, China is a signatory to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA) concluded in December 1996. Under the ITA, signatories reduce their tariffs on certain information technology products from all WTO members (including non-signatories) to zero.
The Information Technology Agreement is a multi-lateral agreement to remove tariffs on certain information and communication technology (ICT) products. ITA covers a wide range of ICT products, including computers and computer devices, electronic components such as semiconductors, computer software, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor manufacturing equipment and computerized analysis tools. To date, 82 WTO members are members of it, representing 97% of the world`s trade in ICT products. The agreement also provides for the obligation to remove non-tariff barriers in the information technology sector and to review the list of products covered to determine whether further enlargement may be necessary to take account of future technological developments.