49 countries agree 'landmark' deal to slash trade tariffs on tech products

Industrials Associated Press

Forty-nine countries have reached a deal to cut tariffs on around 200 technology products, a decision that could pave the way for lower prices for consumers.

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The World Trade Organization says major economies including the United States, China and the European Union reached a tentative accord that caps three years of talks.

The products on which import duties will be scrapped under Friday's deal include GPS navigation equipment, medical scanners and new-generation semiconductors.

The deal, details of which should be finalized by December, expands the scope of the 1996 Information Technology Agreement that involved 81 countries.

WTO chief Roberto Azevedo called it a "landmark" agreement that covers trade in products valued at over $1.3 trillion a year, or some 7 percent of global trade.