It was another good day in Congress for the initiative to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) following a House Ways and Means Committee trade hearing – this time at the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing on “The Role of Trade and Technology in 21st-Century Manufacturing.” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) led off his questions with a strong acknowledgement of the benefits an expanded ITA will have for American businesses—an idea which was given prominent play by all the witnesses who stressed to lawmakers the importance of getting the agreement concluded expeditiously.
Here are some key ITA-related riffs we pulled from this morning’s exchanges and written testimony:
“ITIF estimates that expanding the Information Technology Agreement could boost U.S. exports of information technology products by $2.8 billion annually, supporting the creation of 60,000 new jobs.”
–Stephen J. Ezell, Senior Analyst, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
“Because of the accelerating pace of technology and innovation, it is imperative that ITA expansion be concluded quickly.”
–Jackie Sturm, Vice President and General Manager of Global Supply Management, Intel Corporation
“We believe a deal is within reach this year, but for that to happen we need continued high-level political engagement from the U.S. government.”
–Ray Kimber, President of RKB Industrial and KimberKable
During the hearing, there were also helpful discussions on key issues for manufacturing industries, such as the importance of protecting trade secrets, the rising tide of localization requirements, and the proliferation of non-tariff barriers to trade. It’s worth noting there was a strong, bipartisan consensus expressed by the committee’s lawmakers on these priority issues throughout the hearing.
About ITI. ITI is the premier advocacy and policy organization for the world’s leading innovation companies. ITI navigates the relationships between policymakers, companies, and non-governmental organizations, providing creative solutions that advance the development and use of technology around the world. Visit itic.org to learn more. Follow us on Twitter @ITI_TechTweets.