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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 30, 1997
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                             A PROCLAMATION
  1. On December 13, 1996, the first Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization ("the WTO") issued a Declaration On Trade In Information Technology Products ("the ITA"), which established a framework for expanding world trade in information technology products and enhancing market access opportunities for such products. To implement that declaration, 42 WTO members and governments in the process of acceding to the WTO agreed to eliminate duties on information technology products. These products encompass computers and computer equipment, semiconductors and integrated circuits, computer software products, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and computer-based analytical instruments. The participants further agreed on the common objective of achieving, where appropriate, a common classification of such goods for tariff purposes within the existing nomenclature of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), and on a possible future joint suggestion to the World Customs Organization to update existing HS nomenclature or to otherwise remedy any divergence in classification of such goods or in interpretation of the HS nomenclature.
  2. The United States and the European Union, on behalf of its 15 member states, also reached agreement at the WTO Ministerial Meeting on the elimination of duties on certain distilled spirits.
  3. Section 111(b) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) (19 U.S.C. 3521(b)) authorizes the President to proclaim the modification of any duty or staged rate reduction of any duty set forth in Schedule XX for products in tariff categories that were the subject of reciprocal duty elimination or harmonization negotiations during the Uruguay Round, if the United States agrees to such action in a multilateral negotiation under the auspices of the WTO and after compliance with the requirements of section 115 of the URAA (19 U.S.C. 3524). The products covered by the ITA and the Agreement on Distilled Spirits were the subject of reciprocal duty elimination negotiations during the Uruguay Round.
  4. Accordingly, pursuant to section 111(b) of the URAA, I have determined to proclaim modifications in the tariff categories and rates of duty set forth in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule ("the HTS"), as set forth in the Annexes to this proclamation.
  5. Proclamation 6763 of December 23, 1994, implemented the tariff and other customs treatment resulting from the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, as set forth in Schedule XX, with respect to the United States. Proclamation 6641 of December 15, 1993, implemented the North American Free Trade Agreement ("the NAFTA") with respect to the United States and incorporated in the HTS the tariff modifications and rules of origin necessary or appropriate to carry out or apply the NAFTA. Certain tariff provisions established by these proclamations, including staged reductions in rates of duty, and certain NAFTA rules of origin must be modified in light of the implementation of the ITA, to ensure that the previously proclaimed tariff and other customs treatment will be continued, and to take into account the tariff treatment provided for in the ITA. Accordingly, I have determined to modify the HTS in order to continue or provide such tariff and other customs treatment.
  6. Section 604 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended ("the 1974 Act") (19 U.S.C. 2483), authorizes the President to embody in the HTS the substance of the relevant provisions of that Act, and of other acts affecting import treatment, and actions thereunder, including removal, modification, continuance, or imposition of any rate of duty or other import restriction.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, acting under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including but not limited to section 111(b) of the URAA and section 604 of the 1974 Act, do hereby proclaim:

(1) In order to provide for the immediate or staged elimination of duties on the information technology products covered by the ITA and on certain distilled spirits, and to make conforming changes in other provisions, the HTS is modified as set forth in the Annexes to this proclamation.

(2) The modifications to the HTS made by this proclamation shall be effective with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the dates specified in the Annexes to this proclamation.

(3) All provisions of previous proclamations and Executive orders that are inconsistent with the actions taken in this proclamation are superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.


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