On Friday the United States, European Union, China and several other countries announced negotiations to expand global trade in green goods. The nations are exploring opportunities to reduce tariffs on environmental products, building on the APEC List of 54 Environmental Goods, through negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Negotiations that result in the elimination of tariffs on environmental technologies would significantly help manufacturers of innovative products cut their costs and would improve access to cutting edge technologies for countries all over the world.
Some countries currently apply tariffs as high as 35 percent on environmental goods. The nations entering into the green goods talks make up 86 percent of the global market in environmental goods, and global trade in environmental goods is worth an estimated $955 billion. Efforts to liberalize trade with respect to these products will have a substantial impact on manufacturers in the United States who develop and produce products aimed at solving environmental challenges, enhancing their ability to minimize costs and create new manufacturing jobs.
Green goods negotiations are part of an effort to build on the WTO’s success in concluding negotiations on a Customs and Trade Facilitation agreement at last year’s Bali Ministerial Round. Manufacturers applaud continued efforts by the WTO to multilaterally liberalize trade but cutting and eliminating tariffs and working to remove non-tariff barriers that stifle trade and economic growth and it is critical that WTO negotiators from all countries at the table seek to build consensus on a list of goods that would have a commercially meaningful impact on trade in green goods.
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