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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Technology Pact Set for Approval

GENEVA -- A landmark $500 billion pact to scrap tariffs in the booming information technology industry is on track for approval Wednesday, negotiators said.

The long-awaited global accord, set to benefit customers, manufacturers and world trade, came one step closer to conclusion after the United States, European Union, Canada, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand approved their schedules for tariff cuts in talks late Tuesday night, trade officials said.

Trade officials said 41 countries, representing 92 percent of the technology market, had committed themselves to the sweeping accord, which analysts say will open the way for a vast expansion of the industry and cut consumer costs.

The pact, a big boost to makers of computer and telecoms equipment, will open the way for ambitious future global pacts along with one concluded in February to free up telecom trade. Officials said U.S. giants IBM, Hewlett Packard, Motorola and Intel stood to benefit from an abolition of tariffs.