Showing posts from August, 2015

ITA-II agreement at WTO and India: Some points

The Information Technology Agreement - II (ITA-II) is now tentatively finalised at WTO. India has decided to stay away, blaming the earlier version ITA-I for the sorry state of IT related hardware manufacturing in India today, and believing that India needs to retain duties on IT products in order to bring the Indian IT manufacturing industry to speed. This agreement is mainly a tariff reduction agreement that would bring the import duties on agreed products to zero thus (probably) helping trade.  ITA-I was finalised in 1997, around 18 years ago and included products that are no longer in practical existence, and excluded products that have since been invented. Also, due to faster product life cycles of IT hardware the rate of obsolescence is high. A revision was necessary to that extent.  There were differences over items in the list, as expected, and the negotiators were able to navigate around to reach consensus among interested parties. 51 countries that agreed to go ahe