USTR Seeks Comments on WTO Dispute Related to EC Tariffs on Certain Information Technology Products

Kelley Drye Client Advisory

Kelley Drye’s International Trade Practice Group has prepared a Client Advisory discussing the USTR’s May 28 action requesting consultations with the European Communities (“EC”) regarding the EC’s tariff treatment of certain information technology products. This request follows a long-time dispute between the U.S. and EC regarding the EC’s alleged improper imposition of tariffs on products that should be afforded duty-free treatment according to the EC’s commitment to bind its tariffs under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (“GATT 1994”) and the Information Technology Agreement (“ITA”).

The EC has imposed duties on set-top boxes with certain types of modems (e.g., Ethernet modems), set-top boxes with recording or reproduction functions (e.g., a hard disk or DVD drive), and other electronic products from the U.S. The USTR has invited comments on the issue on or before July 11, 2008.