USCIB joined with other U.S. business groups to form the Coalition for Green Trade on Tuesday to support new negotiations by World Trade Organization (WTO) members that would remove trade barriers on environmental technologies.
The coalition has called on members of the WTO to negotiate an ambitious Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), which would eliminate trade barriers on a broad range of environmental goods, such as solar panels and recycled materials.
In addition, USCIB joined with a broad range of business associations and companies from around the world in calling for an EGA. An open letter to WTO negotiators signed by USCIB stated: “We are committed to working with governments around the world to ensure a commercially meaningful Environmental Goods Agreement that promotes economic growth, improves environmental outcomes and advances innovation.”
Global trade in environmental goods is estimated to be $1 trillion annually, and trade in environmental products more than doubled from 2001 to 2007. An EGA would further increase global trade in environmental goods and lower the cost of addressing climate challenges by removing steep tariffs, the groups said.
“EGA is important in its own right, and can also act as a stepping stone to lower tariffs in other sectors and value chains associated with environmental technologies,” said Eva Hampl, USCIB’s director of investment, trade and financial services. “A high-quality agreement would advance global innovation and be flexible to permit new entrants and commitments to keep pace with new technologies.”
The Coalition for Green Trade is co-chaired by USCIB, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Foreign Trade Council, and its steering committee includes the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Coalition of Service Industries, Emergency Committee for American Trade, Information Technology Industry Council, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Semiconductor Industry Association, Solar Energy Industries Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The first round of EGA talks are scheduled to begin this week in Geneva. Representatives from NAM, NFTC and USCIB are leading a U.S. business delegation to participate in events and meetings on the sidelines of the official negotiations.