Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

services. The more advanced your telecommunication sector is, the greater the variety of products and services it offers, and the more competition there is, the lower the costs of all the businesses that use those telecommunications services. This is what makes society more competitive and is why the administration focuses on things such as telecommunications and financial services.

The WTO: How does this relate to the World Trade Organization, which came into existence on January 1, 1995? It seemed to me that almost the entire WTO is going to be helpful in providing opportunities for the advancement of high technology, particularly U.S. high-technology exports.

Reciprocity: Part of the reason for this is the way markets are developing. The Uruguay Round and the World Trade Organization represented, in my opinion, the first genuine effort to involve developing countries in the global trading system on a reciprocal basis; that is, instead of just giving advantages for which there was no compensating concession, in this round, developing countries got a lot of advantages, but they also made a lot of concessions, and some of them were very important concessions. Major developing countries that have never bound their tariffs in the past, for example, bound 75, 80, and even 90 percent of their tariff schedules.

If you are talking about installing a cellular telephone system in Tajikistan, these technologies are widely applicable in places where you might not expect them to be applicable. Access to those markets is very important.

Tariffs: I want to mention a couple of specifics. First, we are not exactly looking at these things from a technology perspective. We have to divide them into the types of problems we experience. But in the tariff area, a lot of work, of course, was done in the Uruguay Round, and much of that work will be helpful in high-technology sectors. We continue to push for reductions in barriers in sectors that will benefit us. Almost all of these sectors are high technologies, such as advanced chemicals, electronics, and medical equipment.

So that tells me that the tariff reduction programs of the United States, in terms of exports, will be helpful to high-technology industry. In addition, if you compare the U.S. schedule, for example, with that of the European Union, what you find are relatively few tariff inversions; that is to say, the input tariff is higher than the tariff on the finished product. That will help, because it means that you can buy an inexpensive chip and put it into an expensive computer. That is important for the development of a competitive high-technology sector.

Bilateral market opening: The administration has been successful in opening to global competition some markets in which we have specific barriers that cannot be taken care of in the multilateral system. A good example is medical equipment exports to Japan, for which an agreement was negotiated under the framework system, and, I am told, it has been quite successful.

Standards: Standards are another aspect of the multilateral system that are helpful to high-technology industries in a variety of ways. One example is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Sanitary Agreement, which is a fairly technical agree-

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement