Boosting Exports, Jobs, and Economic Growth by Expanding the Information Technology Agreement

March 15, 2012

Think of the technology used in 1996. The proliferation of innovative new products has been astounding. Remarkably, the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which fully eliminates tariffs on covered information and communications technology (ICT) products, has not really been updated in 15 years, and even then did not cover everyday consumer electronic products, such as audio speakers, DVD players, and video cameras. The ITA, with its 73 participating member nations, has been one of the most successful trade agreements ever undertaken. It has played a critical role in promoting ICT trade and investment, which in turn has driven innovation, raised productivity, increased employment, accelerated economic growth, and produced prosperity for all nations. But it is time to update it to include the GPS systems, flat panel TV displays, e-readers, remote home and patient monitoring devices, video game consoles, multicomponent semiconductors and more. In a new report, ITIF finds that ITA expansion would increase direct U.S. exports of ICT products by $2.8 billion, boost revenues of U.S. ICT firms by $10 billion, and support creation of approximately 60,000 new U.S. jobs.