[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[July 1, 1997]
[Page 898]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on the Proclamation Implementing the Information Technology 
July 1, 1997

    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 8 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.

Note: The proclamation of June 30 to implement the World Trade 
Organization Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology 
Products was published in the Federal Register on July 2.