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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 1, 1997


Proclamation Implementing the Information Technology Agreement

As I unveil our electronic commerce initiative, I am also pleased to announce that I signed a Proclamation that today implements the Information Technology Agreement concluded at the World Trade Organization in Geneva in March. This historic trade agreement will cut to zero tariffs on a vast array of computers, semiconductors and telecommunications technology by the year 2000. Trade in these goods covers more than $500 billion in global trade. These products are the essential building blocks of the Information Superhighway. Combined with the entrepreneurial spirit of people here and throughout the world, they will drive electronic commerce and communication in the 21st century.

Every year, we sell $100 billion in information technology that supports almost 2 million jobs in the United States. Eliminating tariffs on these goods will amount to a $5 billion cut in tariffs on American products exported to other nations. For example, in India and Thailand tariffs on computers are eight times higher than in the United States. These tariffs will be eliminated, allowing American products to compete on a more level playing field.

America leads the world in information technology. This agreement will create extraordinary new opportunities for American business and workers, so the American people can reap the rewards of the global economy as we enter the new century.

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