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Technology CEO Council Joins Business Leaders in Urging President Obama to Eliminate Trade Barriers on Technology

Published Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CEOs from some of America's largest technology companies joined with other U.S. business leaders to urge President Obama to build international support to expand an international treaty designed to eliminate tariffs on information technology goods and services. 

Members of the Technology CEO Council, in a letter to President Obama, said expanding the Information Technology Agreement would provide a strong boost to American exports and the jobs that they support.

“American high tech companies and their workers are the most innovative and competitive in the world.  The ITA needs to be expanded to help them capitalize on those assets in international markets,” business leaders wrote to the President. “In the years since the ITA was originally signed in 1996, the agreement has failed to keep up with the pace of technology.  Expanding the ITA to cover both the innovative products that have been developed and the advances still to come would provide a significant boost to the American high tech industry.”

According to the business leaders, preliminary studies indicate that an expanded ITA could remove tariffs on an additional $800 billion in global technology trade, with over $122 billion in U.S. trade affected.

“The ITA also should be expanded to include countries that currently do not participate.  These countries, some of them major markets such as Brazil, receive the benefits of duty-free access to the United States and throughout the world for the high technology products covered by the agreement without having to provide similar access to their markets in return,” the business leaders added in the letter to President Obama.

Technology CEO Council companies generate more than $250 billion in annual revenues and employ more than 700,000 workers. Created in 1989, the TCC advances policies to promote innovation and U.S. competitiveness through technology leadership. The CEOs regularly visit Washington D.C. to meet with policymakers about issues of importance to the high-tech industry. The Technology CEO Council’s innovation agenda includes:

  • Structural tax reforms that encourage investment and growth in America and enable U.S. companies to best compete around the world;
  • Trade and investment policies that expand U.S. innovators’ access to global markets and level the playing fields on which American workers and companies compete around the world;
  • Strategic use of technology to increase productivity, improve quality and decrease costs in health care, government and energy systems
  • Robust efforts to enhance America’s human capital through education reforms, high-skilled immigration reform and lifelong learning / reskilling systems.

 

Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Inc, serves as the Chairman of the Technology CEO Council.  Other TCC members include, Steven R. Appleton, Chairman and CEO of Micron Technology, Inc.; Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions, Inc.; Ursula M. Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation; Paul S. Otellini, President and CEO of Intel Corporation; Samuel J. Palmisano, the Chairman and CEO of IBM Corporation; Michael R. Splinter, Chairman, President and CEO of Applied Materials, Inc.; and, Joseph M. Tucci, Chairman, President and CEO of EMC Corporation.

For more information about TCC and its agenda, please go to www.techceocouncil.org.