Taiwan Signs onto Information Technology Agreement (ITA-2) Talks

Despite resistance from China in the field of display technology, Taiwan has agreed to take part in the new ITA-2 free trade pact.

Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) announced from Geneva, Switzerland, that it has ended its resistance to finalizing a deal for the updated Information Technology Agreement (ITA) global trade pact, known as the ITA 2, which was being hammered out in the World Trade Organization at the end of July. The BOFT had held out for the inclusion of certain display technology products in the global free trade agreement, including OLED flat panel displays, but finally accepted the 201-product list without such items due to strong opposition from China. The original ITA is a major trade agreement that eliminates tariffs on a wide array of technology products, and is credited with stimulating the international cross-border trade in IT products, now valued at US$4 trillion annually. But many new product segments, including mobile phones and tablet computers, have emerged since the first ITA was signed in 1989. The updated ITA 2 has been in discussion for years, and looked to be on track after formerly recalcitrant China got on board last fall. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, the BOFT’s parent organization, forecasts that the agreement will be a boon to Taiwan’s vital IT manufacturing sector.