Negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) launched this week at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva aimed at removing tariffs on a broad range of environmental technologies. ITI, as part of the Coalition for Green Trade, is advocating for a timely and ambitious negotiation of the EGA to ensure a wide range of new and innovative technologies designed to protect the environment and address climate change are included in a final agreement.
Global trade in environmental goods is estimated to be a one trillion dollar marketplace that is growing rapidly. While these products—and innovative technologies in particular—can do much to help address environmental and climate challenges, trade barriers such as tariffs, that can be as high as 35 percent, act as artificial obstacles that slow their use. EGA would increase global trade in environmental goods and help lower the costs associated with addressing environmental and climate challenges.
Adopting an expansive and ambitious approach to the EGA is critical. In a joint letter with 46 other global industry associations, we urge negotiators to reach an ambitious agreement to eliminate tariffs on a broad range of environmental goods. In the letter we have also offered our commitment to work with governments to ensure EGA “promotes economic growth, improves environmental outcomes and advances innovation.”
Trade liberalization initiatives in the WTO such as the EGA and expansion of the Information Technology Agreement spur trade in technologies that promote global economic growth and sustainable development. These initiatives in the WTO also pave the way for lowering tariffs and other barriers to trade in other sectors, and stand as strong examples that the multilateral trading system is alive and well.
Click here to view ITI comments on the U.S. government’s request for input on the EGA negotiations.