WTO members open talk on green goods
At the first stage, EU, Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore and the US will aim to eliminate tariffs or customs duties on a broad list of green goods that help clean the air and water, help manage waste, are energy efficient, control air pollution, and help generate renewable energy like solar, wind, or hydroelectric.
At the second stage, the negotiations could also address non-tariff barriers and environmental services. The EU is particularly interested to reduce barriers to trade in services ancillary to goods exported. E.g. to produce wind energy, it is not enough just to buy the wind turbine: companies also need to have access to the maintenance and engineering services necessary to keep it running smoothly in the world of global value chains.
The green goods negotiations have started as planned after few months of preparations since the launch of the Green Goods Initiative in January this year. The group of WTO Members will engage now in intensive negotiations meeting regularly in Geneva and discussing the substance of the agreement, i.a. product coverage and the approach on non-tariff barriers to trade and services. ■