Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedFebruary 28, 2024

WTO Ministerial to Chart Future of Digital Trade Tariffs, Growth

Washington – At the WTO’s 13th Ministerial meeting (MC13) in Abu Dhabi this week, countries will be deciding whether to maintain a ban on duties imposed on electronic transmissions. 

Last month, the Computer & Communications Industry Association joined over 200 global business organizations in calling for an extension of the moratorium, which has been in place since 1998. The WTO Ministerial comes at a critical time, as the direction of U.S. trade policy and U.S. commitment to working with trade partners to advocate for rules to maintain open markets remains uncertain. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President for Digital Trade Jonathan McHale: 

“The moratorium on duties on electronic transmissions serves as a foundational principle to global commerce for companies of all sizes and in all sectors, and undergirds the openness of the internet..  We encourage WTO members to keep these valuable rules in place by renewing the e-commerce moratorium this week. This meeting is also an opportunity for members of the Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce to inject momentum into efforts to secure robust rules for digital trade.   

“We appreciate efforts of Congress and others in the U.S. government to ensure the WTO does not waver in its support of the moratorium. Allowing the lapse of this commitment would undermine trade facilitated through the internet, which in the modern day implicates a wide range of industries.”