IT manufacturers such as Intel have been boosted by a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement that will cut tariffs on more than 200 IT products.
The "landmark" deal, an expansion of the 1996 Information Technology Agreement, will see 201 IT products added to the zero-tariff list, including new-generation semiconductors and GPS navigation systems.
The WTO said the list of technology included has an annual trade value of $1.3tn (£837bn) a year.
US-based manufacturers such as Intel and Texas Instruments have been fingered as among the beneficiaries, although the British Computer Society (BCS) was quick to stress that UK firms will also enjoy the fruits of the agreement.
"The big names touted as benefiting from the WTO deal tend to be US-based organisations, but we must not forget that the UK is still a major exporter in IT products and services," said David Evans, director of policy at BCS.
Under the terms of the agreement, the majority of tariffs will be eliminated on these products within three years, with reductions beginning in 2016, the WTO said.
The zero-tariff expansion is a recognition of the fact that technology innovation has advanced to such an extent that many new categories of IT products were not covered by the 1996 agreement, WTO director general Roberto Azevêdo said.
"Annual trade in these 201 products is valued at over $1.3tn per year, and accounts for approximately seven per cent of total global trade today," he said.
"This is larger than global trade in automotive products – or trade in textiles, clothing, iron and steel combined."
IT products encompassed by the deal include new-generation semiconductors, GPS navigation systems, medical products which include magnetic resonance imaging machines, machine tools for manufacturing printed circuits, telecommunications satellites and touchscreens.
Scrapping tariffs on trade of this magnitude will support lower prices, not only on the products themselves but in many other sectors that use IT products as inputs, Azevêdo said, boosting GDP growth around the world in the process.
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