Third Japan/US/EU Trilateral IT–Electronics Associations Meeting Is Held in Brussels
TOKYO, APRIL 27, 2007... The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) participated in the third Japan/US/EU Trilateral IT–Electronics Associations Meeting on April 26 in Brussels, Belgium.
This year's meeting was sponsored by the European Information Communications and Consumer Electronics Technology Industry Associations (EICTA), and participants included leading representatives of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and Consumer Electronics Association (USA), and JEITA. (See Attachment for details.)
Ongoing rapid development of digital and network technologies has led to numerous products and services that surpass traditional frameworks and are causing extensive economic and social changes around the world. While such technologies are helping improve people's lifestyles and are contributing to global economic growth, the resulting changes bring a number of issues requiring resolution. To respond as rapidly as possible to such issues, discussions at this year's meeting were held under the themes of the environment, including energy-saving measures to counter global warming and chemical substances in products; trade, such as negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round and products specified under the Information Technology Agreement; ensuring the appropriate security of intellectual property; and international standards. Experts in related fields joined the attending industry representatives to discuss and exchange opinions on these themes. The meeting closed with agreement by the industry associations represented to work together on specific actions related to the points outlined below.
In addition, on the day before the meeting representatives of the associations met with officials of the European Commission to exchange opinions on and directly present industry requests related to environmental issues, including waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives, as well as on copyright and patent issues.
1. Trade issues
Aiming for major reductions of tariffs and the removal of non-tariff trade barriers on information technology and telecommunications products, the participants agreed to work together to promote negotiations for the electric/electronics sector at the WTO Doha Round. It was also agreed that activities would be strengthened to encourage governments and related organizations to implement ITA maintenance so tariffs are not levied on products that should be duty-free under the agreement.
Furthermore, the associations agreed to rapidly begin studying a mutual proposal on unified international rules of origin to be presented to the chair of the WTO Committee on Rules of Origin.
2. Environmental issues
In light of discussions on the furthering of energy savings and other measures to counter global warming, the associations will promote energy saving to related companies. The participants also agreed to continue exchanging opinions and sharing information about cross-border movement in line with the recovery of discarded products and the import and export of "e-waste," or waste electrical and electronic equipment.
Regarding regulations on chemical substances contained in products, the participants exchanged information and will report on their opinions to the appropriate departments in their national governments.
In the meeting held the previous day with officials from the European Commission, the participants received explanations on WEEE and RoHS directives. The officials expressed their desire to continue listening to the opinions of the industry, but more work will be required to improve the transparency of procedures to express these opinions.
3. Intellectual property protection issues
The participants will step up efforts to encourage governments and related organizations to prevent the expansion of the levy system, and bring about its gradual elimination. The participants are in favor of efforts to build a global patent system and amend existing patent laws, including the U.S. push to adopt the patent priority date system, and will actively support the efforts of the U.S. government in this area. In addition, the participants will continue exchanging information on measures to stop product counterfeiting and piracy, which are an important issue causing major damage to the industry.
4. Standardization issues
Related to accessibility standards being pursued by countries and standardization organizations, the participants agreed to work together to achieve international alignment, for example, by promoting the adoption of open standards.
Plans are to hold the fourth Japan/US/EU Trilateral IT–Electronics Associations Meeting around April 2008, approximately one year after the third meeting, under the sponsorship of JEITA (date and location to be announced).
Participants in the Third Japan/US/EU Trilateral IT–Electronics Associations Meeting:
●European Information, Communications and Consumer Electronics Technology Industry Associations (EICTA)
Mark MacGann, Director General, EICTA
Related EICTA Committee members
●Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)
Rhett Dawson, President and Chief Executive Officer, ITI
●Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
Gary Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer, CEA
●Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA)
Takashi Yagi, President, Government Relations and Business
Development Unit, Fujitsu Limited.
Kazuo Kaneko, President, JEITA
Related JEITA Committee members
JEITA Brussels Office Director