Trade talks with Asia high on President Obama’s agenda

Talks with China over expanding the 1997 treaty on information technology broke down last year over the scope of the products covered by the agreement. But after intensive negotiations leading up to Mr. Obama’s visit, Mr. Froman said, the Americans and Chinese agreed Monday evening to eliminate more than 200 categories of tariffs.While the United States still exports many high-technology goods, China is the world’s dominant exporter overall of electronics and has much to gain from an elimination of tariffs.Asian neighbors like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan increasingly find themselves supplying China’s huge electronics industry, deepening their economic dependence on decisions made in Beijing.“With so many new products created since the I.T.A. was concluded two decades ago, expanding the agreement’s coverage is imperative,” said Myron Brilliant, the head of international affairs of the United States Chamber of Commerce. “With trade in tech goods surpassing $4 trillion annually, the commercial significance of these negotiations is obvious.”At a news briefing, Mr. Froman said negotiators had also made progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade pact that is a centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s strategic shift to Asia.

via U.S. and China Overcome Hurdles on Technology Pact – NYTimes.com.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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