Association News

NEMA welcomes USTR announcement on ITA expansion.

Press Release Summary:

Jul 29, 2015 - NEMA welcomed announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman that agreement had been reached among leading countries to expand scope of World Trade Organization’s Information Technology Agreement. According to announcement, product list including MRI and CT units as well as other specific products of interest to NEMA manufacturers has been provisionally agreed by participating governments. Under ITA, willing WTO member countries agree to eliminate their own tariffs on list of products.

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) - Rosslyn, VA

Original Press Release

NEMA Welcomes USTR Announcement on ITA Expansion

Press release date: Jul 24, 2015

ROSSLYN, Va., -- The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) welcomed the announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman that agreement had been reached among a leading group of countries to expand the scope of the World Trade Organization’s Information Technology Agreement (WTO ITA). According to the announcement, a product list including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) units as well as other specific products of interest to NEMA manufacturers has been provisionally agreed by participating governments.

“Tariff elimination is a fundamental goal for our companies, so NEMA has been working with U.S. negotiators on ITA expansion since the early days,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff. “We applaud Ambassador Froman, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Ambassador to the WTO Michael Punke, and the team of U.S. negotiators for their steadfast advocacy and their success.”

“Medical care is a global industry that should be supported by trade policy,” said Nelson Mendes, chief executive officer of Ziehm Imaging and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA. “Elimination by the ITA of tariffs on MRI and CT equipment will be a boon to manufacturers like Ziehm as well as healthcare facilities and patients in participating countries.”  

“We appreciate NEMA’s and MITA’s successful advocacy for medical imaging equipment in the ITA,” said Greg Sorensen, CEO of Siemens Healthcare North America. “We look forward to further reductions in trade barriers for our industry’s lifesaving equipment.”

Under the ITA, willing WTO member countries agreed in 1997 to eliminate their own customs duties, also known as tariffs, on a list of information and communication technology products. A U.S.-led effort to expand the number of covered product types began in 2011. Now that the product list has been agreed upon by the U.S. and other WTO members, negotiations are expected to proceed until December on the schedule of tariff elimination each party will implement for new products and on future plans to reopen ITA to additional products.

The USTR July 19 announcement on the ITA expansion negotiations is available here.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 400 electrical, medical imaging, and radiation therapy manufacturers. Our combined industries account for more than 400,000 American jobs and more than 7,000 facilities across the U.S. Domestic production exceeds $117 billion per year. Our industry is at the forefront on electrical safety, reliability, resilience, efficiency, and energy security.

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