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Panel Report on EC–IT Products


At the heart of the dispute on EC–IT Products1 is the definition of information-technology (IT) products and the question of how to treat increasingly multifunctional high-tech goods. The dispute was triggered by various measures introduced by the European Union, resulting in the imposition of duties of up to 14% pertaining to the tariff treatment of certain multifunctional IT products. The complaining parties (the United States, along with Japan and Taiwan) argued that, by introducing these duties, the EU had violated the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The WTO Panel Report, circulated on 16 August 2010, ruled in favor of the complaining parties, and ordered the EU to repeal the measures leading to the dutiable treatment of the products at stake. We argue that the Panel's ruling enhances the credibility of trade-policy liberalization in the high-tech sector, fostering the development of new technologies.

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World Trade Review
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