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NEWS RELEASE 98-085; NOVEMBER 12, 1998 November 12, 1998
News Release 98-085


As tariffs on information technology (IT) products have been reduced and face elimination in global markets, standards-related barriers have emerged as the most important obstacles to trade for IT producers, according to Global Assessment of Standards Barriers to Trade in the Information Technology Industry, a new staff research study by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Office of Industries.

The staff research study assesses standards-related barriers to trade in the global IT industry. The study (1) discusses the role of standards and conformity assessment in the IT industry; (2) provides an overview of the standards process in the United States, the European Union, Japan, and other important global markets; (3) examines the effects of certain standards-related barriers to trade on the computer hardware, software, and telecommunications equipment sectors of the IT industry; and (4) evaluates proposals for reducing IT standards-related barriers to trade.

The study reflects research conducted in the agency's Office of Industries. The views and conclusions expressed in the staff research paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. International Trade Commission or of any individual Commissioner.

Following are highlights of the report:

Global Assessment of Standards Barriers to Trade in the Information Technology Industry (Staff Research Study 23, USITC publication 3141, November 1998) will be available on the ITC's Internet server at The study will also be available at regional federal depository libraries in the United States. To request a printed copy, contact the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be made by fax to 202-205-2104.

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