The IT Agreement in the WTO remains one of the organisation's greatest achievements as well as disappointments. Since its conception in 1996, we have seen ever faster cycles of innovation and product convergences, the internet, and the rise of China, India and the emerging economies in the ICT supply chains and services trade.
Yet, the trade negotiators have failed to expand the agreement beyond its original scope – in a time of cloud computing, technology trade is still governed by the rules drafted for VHS tapes. But after fifteen years of hiatus, and the final conclusion of trade disputes on ITA goods, the time is finally ripe to revisit the ITA.
What needs to be covered to make ITA relevant to the digital economy? What are the impediments to the negotiations? Are plurilaterals a way forward after a demise of the Doha round?
ECIPE cordially invites you to a discussion on the future of trade and technology.
- Signe Ratso, Director, Market Access and Industry, DG Trade
- Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director of ECIPE and the author of Future-Proofing Technology Trade: turning the ITA into the International Digital Economy Agreement (IDEA)