China Reduces Tariff on IT Products

China has cut its trade tariffs on 201 information technology (IT) products under the expanded Information Technology Agreement.

Effective September 15, the cut is China's commitment to the expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which was approved in December 2015 under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.

The products covered by the tariff cut include integrated circuits, touch screens, semiconductors and medical devices.

The expanded ITA also established that tariffs on IT products would be gradually reduced annually, with their effective elimination no later than July 1, 2019. China aims to reduce most tariffs on the IT products on its list to zero within three to five years.

Over 50 countries, including China, reached an agreement last year to begin implementing their tariff-reducing commitments to the ITA by July 1, 2016, but the timetable was subject to the completion of domestic procedural requirements in each country.

China's legislature passed a bill earlier this month to ratify an amendment to the ITA.

"The ratification and implementation of the amendment will be in the interests of China's drive to build an open economic system and to accelerate the development of domestic IT industry amid international competition and cooperation," said the National People's Congress Foreign Affairs Committee in a review report to the lawmakers. 

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