News / Economy

    US Groups Expect WTO Technology Trade Deal by July

    Roberto Azevedo, incoming head of the World Trade Organization [WTO], reacts during a meeting at the Finance Ministry in Brazil, May 21, 2013.Roberto Azevedo, incoming head of the World Trade Organization [WTO], reacts during a meeting at the Finance Ministry in Brazil, May 21, 2013.
    x
    Roberto Azevedo, incoming head of the World Trade Organization [WTO], reacts during a meeting at the Finance Ministry in Brazil, May 21, 2013.
    Roberto Azevedo, incoming head of the World Trade Organization [WTO], reacts during a meeting at the Finance Ministry in Brazil, May 21, 2013.
    Reuters
    A deal among the United States, China, the European Union and nearly two dozen other countries to eliminate duties on billions of dollars worth of technology products could be reached in the next two months, U.S. technology groups said on Thursday.

    “We're quite optimistic we're going to get this across the finish line by the end of July,” John Neuffer, a senior vice president at the Information Technology Industry Council, told reporters in a phone call from Geneva, where some members of the the World Trade Organization met this week for talks.

    The countries are negotiating an expansion of the WTO's Information Technology Agreement, a 16-year-old pact that eliminated duties on a long list of technology products, including personal computers, laptops, telephones, fax machines, computer software, semi-conductors and many office machines.

    Growing trade

    The agreement's original membership has grown to 75 over the years, including the 27 nations of the European Union.

    About $4 trillion in current trade is covered by the current pact, according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington think tank that estimates an expanded agreement could cover $800 billion in additional trade.

    U.S. consumer electronic companies are particularly eager to see the agreement expanded to cover flat-screen displays used both as computer monitors and for television viewing.

    The European Union, which has a 14 percent tariff on flat-screen displays, has resisted included them on the expanded list, apparently fearing that it could prompt U.S. and Asian  manufacturers now based in Eastern Europe to relocate.

    While computers were covered by the original agreement, television sets were not.

    But now, “you can take a computer screen and watch TV on it and you can take a TV and access the Internet,” said Sage Chandler, director of international trade for the Consumer Electronics Association.

    “We have had long discussions with Europe about this and we're hoping to move the ball forward,” said Chandler.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8954
    JPY
    USD
    109.65
    GBP
    USD
    0.6827
    CAD
    USD
    1.3037
    INR
    USD
    67.037

    Rates may not be current.