U.S. and China Strike Trade Deal to Cut Tech Tariffs

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China and the U.S. have succeeded in hammering out an agreement that will allow for the expansion of a trade deal aimed at removing myriad tariffs on high-tech goods, according to a statement released by the White House late on Monday.

The new deal forged by Washington and Beijing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this week is set to pave the way for the enlargement of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and the recommencement of the first significant tariff-cutting deal at the World Trade Organization in nearly two decades.

The ITA first went into effect in 1997; however, the scope of the deal has never been increased despite the tectonic advances in technology in the past 17 years. Negotiations over widening the breadth of IT products covered by the pact were first launched in 2012, but had largely stalled due to continuing disagreements between the U.S. and China.

“It was APEC’s work that led to the Information Technology Agreement, which we are now negotiating to expand,” said President Barack Obama during an APEC plenary session in Beijing. “It is fitting that we are here with our APEC colleagues to share the news that the United States and China have reached an understanding that we hope will contribute to a rapid conclusion of the broader negotiations in Geneva.”

Proponents of bolstering the range of goods covered by the ITA argue that the deal would result in the generation of an estimated $1 trillion in annual international sales of IT products.

—With reporting by Zeke J. Miller

All the Presidents' Looks: 9 Pictures of Commanders-in-Costume

Queen Reagan Riding
During a State Visit, Queen Elizabeth II rides her horse in Windsor Great Park with President Ronald Reagan in the United Kingdom in 1982.Tim Graham—Getty Images
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders dressed in traditional Indonesian batik wave during a photo session prior to their meeting in Bogor, Indonesia on Nov. 15, 1994.
Wearing traditional Indonesian batik clothing, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders wave during a photo session prior to their meeting in Bogor, Indonesia in 1994.Koji Sasahara—AP
Ghana's President Jerry John Rawlings, left, President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, both wearing the Kente traditional Ghanaian dress, and Ghana's First Lady Nana Rawlings, right, greet a crowd of over 200,000 people assembled in Independence Square in Accra, Ghana in 1998.Greg Gibson—AP
President Jimmy Carter, left, and Cuban President Fidel Castro wear a traditional guayabera in Havana on May 13, 2002. Gregory Bull—AP
President George W. Bush, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, wear traditional Chilean ponchos prior to the leaders' group photo at the 2004 APEC Summit in Santiago, Chile in 2004. Itar-Tass/AP
U.S. President George W. Bush talks with and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the official photograph for the APEC Summit in Hanoi
President George W. Bush speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, wearing Vietnamese 'ao dai' silk tunics, during the official photograph for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Hanoi. Vietnam in 2006. Jim Young—Reuters
February 8, 2007. Tingoli Village, Northern Province, Ghana. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are honored by the Dagumba people of Tingoli with a gift of traditional attire, which they wear with joy.
President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are honored by the Dagumba people with a gift of traditional attire in Tingoli, Northern Ghana in 2007.Louise Gubb—The Carter Center
Barack Obama,  Wen Jiabaom, Manmohan Singh, Lee Hsien Loong, Benigno Aquino III
President Barack Obama stands with China's Premier Wen Jiabao, center, as they wait to take a photo at the East Asia Summit Gala dinner in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali in Indonesia in 2011.Susan Walsh—AP
Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, his wife, Peng Liyuan, and President Barack Obama walk before the ceremonial reception held for members of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing on Nov. 10, 2014. Michael Klimentyev—AFP/Getty Images

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