Trade Cross-Industry Statement on the Twelfth Ministerial Conference and the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions

Jun 17, 2022

Washington - The undersigned associations applaud all WTO members for their agreement at the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) to extend the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions. Our associations represent enterprises active in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, agriculture, automotive, energy, electronics, entertainment, film, financial services, health, music, retail, software, and telecommunications sectors. We commend the negotiating teams of all WTO members that contributed to this outcome. We also thank Director General Ngozi, and Deputy Directors General González and Ellard, for their role in achieving positive results on this and other issues under the broader ministerial package.

The agreement to extend the Moratorium until the next Ministerial, expected to be held in December 2023, means that this 24-year-old agreement – a pillar of the global digital economy – will continue to facilitate economic opportunity, growth, and innovation in the absence of disruptive and unprecedented custom requirements on digital goods and services.

We encourage WTO members to continue to work towards a more permanent agreement, and we stand ready to assist. The introduction of new digital customs duties, formalities, and requirements, as well as new classification and valuation obligations, will hurt workers and employers in agriculture, manufacturing, and services. Most at risk are millions of workers employed by micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which would be disproportionately harmed by these unprecedented new requirements – requirements that would impede access for the most vulnerable to the data and technologies needed to fully participate in and benefit from the digitalizing economy.

ACT | The App Association

BSA | The Software Alliance

Business Roundtable

Coalition of Services Industries

Computing Technology Industry Association

Consumer Technology Association

Entertainment Software Association

Global Data Alliance

Independent Film & Television Alliance

Information Technology Industry Council

International Chamber of Commerce

Motion Picture Association

National Foreign Trade Council

Recording Industry Association of America

Semiconductor Industry Association

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

U.S.-ASEAN Business Council

U.S. Council for International Business

U.S. Chamber of Commerce