On July 13, 2016, the federal government published in the Canada Gazette an order eliminate custom duties on 52 ICT products. These cuts will implement an expansion of the World Trade Organization’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA) which in total will eliminate tariffs on 201 ICT and related products across the WTO’s 52-member block. This expansion was agreed to, following years of negotiation, at the WTO’s ministerial meeting in December 2015. The government estimates the cuts will result in saving of $52.2 million in savings for Canadian importers of ICT products once they are fully implement in mid-2019.
ITAC has been a strong supporter of an expanding WTO ITA for several years, and was part of an international coalition of technology industry associations which pushed the WTO to expand the ITA list to support global prosperity. The additional products included in the expanded ITA are estimated by the WTO to account for approximately $1.3 trillion in annual trade globally, representing approximately 10 percent of global trade.
ITAC will continue to work with Global Affairs Canada and international partners to support freer trade of technology products and services, the ongoing negotiations for a new WTO Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).