World

Obama: US, China reach 'understanding' on deal to eliminate tariffs on high-tech goods

U.S. President Barack Obama looks upwards  at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

U.S. President Barack Obama looks upwards at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center, Yanqi, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

President Barack Obama says the United States and China have reached an "understanding" in negotiations to eliminate tariffs on high-tech goods.

Obama says the breakthrough will help bring talks on the Information Technology Agreement to a "rapid conclusion." Obama made the announcement during a meeting Tuesday with leaders attending an Asia-Pacific economic summit in Beijing.

U.S. officials say the progress with China includes an agreement to eliminate tariffs on goods like medical devices, semi-conductors and other high-tech instruments. The White House did not put a specific timeline on finalizing a broader agreement through the World Trade Organization.

Talks on the Information Technology Agreement broke down last summer. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says the deal would mark the first major tariff reduction agreement by the WTO in 17 years.