China, US make breakthrough on IT free trade deal: US trade rep

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China and the United States have reached a breakthrough in talks aimed at eliminating duties on information technology products, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Tuesday.

Froman told reporters in Beijing during the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit (Apec) that he expected the breakthrough to pave the way for continuing negotiations on the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) in Geneva.

The United States and other countries have been hopeful that China would sign on to the ITA, which requires signatories to eliminate duties on some IT products, during the Apec summit ending on Tuesday.

Washington has blamed China, the world's biggest exporter of IT products, for derailing talks on an update to the 16-year-old World Trade Organisation pact on technology trade by asking for too many exemptions.