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TPP Offers Opportunities for High-Tech Sector; ST&R Webinar to Review

Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Trans-Pacific Partnership will expand access to key foreign markets for the U.S. information and communications technology sector. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg will conduct a webinar Dec. 16 to review the TPP provisions affecting goods classified in HS chapters 84, 85 and 90 and how companies can benefit.

Accordingto a Department of Commerce fact sheet, TPP will cover the goods included in the existing Information Technology Agreement among World Trade Organization members and the expanded ITA that could be finalized as early as this month. It will also include other products such as optical fibers, audio-video equipment, television reception apparatus, coaxial cable and batteries.

The DOC notes that while U.S. exports of ICT products to those TPP countries with which the U.S. does not already have a bilateral free trade agreement (Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam) totaled $9.7 billion in 2014, TPP should further increase that figure. Malaysia accounts for nearly 50 percent of such exports ($4.6 billion) but imposes a maximum applied tariff of 30 percent. Vietnam is a growing market, valued at $527 million, but its import tariffs top out at 35 percent. TPP will immediately eliminate tariffs on 99.5 percent of U.S. ICT exports to Malaysia and 96.9 percent of such shipments to Vietnam, opening the way for an increase in exports. Japan, also a significant export market at $4.4 billion, will immediately do away with all of its tariffs on ICT products, which can be as high as five percent.

Other TPP benefits for this sector include transparent and predictable customs procedures that should reduce border delays and duty-free transmission of content via ICT goods.

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