New ITIF Research: Joining WTO ITA Benefits Developing Countries

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), the WTO has organized an ITA Symposium in Geneva featuring speakers, panel discussions, and presentation of new research inluding a new paper from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C. that describes the benefits that would accrue to six develpoing countries were they to join the ITA. Building on an earlier (2012) ITIF paper on the same topic, the 2017 ITIF paper is written by Dr. Stephen Ezell and Dr.  Wu. The authors argue  that tariff liberalization under the ITA would spur increased use of ICT goods, which in turn would generate important productivity and economic growth while deepening enterprises’ participation in global value chains. Their analysis looks in particular at the impact of joining ITA (and ITA2) on Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Kenya, Pakistan, and South Africa. Dr. Ezell and Dr. Wu conclude that joining these agreements would boost economic growth for each of these countries, and that tax revenues from new economic growth following accession would largely offset income loss from tariff elimination.