WASHINGTON - CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, the world’s leading technology association, today applauded the entry into force of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA was reached at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in December 2013, and required two-thirds of the WTO membership (110 countries) to ratify the agreement within their own domestic bodies for it to go into effect.
With Chad, Jordan, Oman and Rwanda notifying the WTO of its commitments today, the TFA has been pushed across the finish line. CompTIA’s Customs Committee and member companies supported this initiative and congratulated the multi-year endeavors of the WTO and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) on this accomplishment.
“The TFA has the potential to create more transparency and accountability for technology companies,” said Ken Montgomery, CompTIA’s vice president, international trade regulation & compliance. “In addition to the expected cost reductions and improvements in movement of goods across borders, our members will benefit by countries agreeing to publishing rules for the classification or valuation of products for customs purposes.”
According to a 2015 study by WTO economists, full implementation of the TFA would reduce members’ trade costs by an average of 14.3 percent. The TFA will have the ability to reduce the time to import goods by over a day and a half while also reducing time to export by almost two days. The TFA also has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion.
CompTIA will work with the business community and other stakeholders to ensure a robust implementation of the agreement in the countries deemed of interest to the technology sector, and will encourage WTO members that have not ratified TFA yet to do so. CompTIA also supports continual progress on trade facilitation and modernization within the United States through actions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and recommendations provided by the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC). These efforts include the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the International Trade Data System (ITDS) and the Single Window.
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