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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman Joins the Coalition for Green Trade in Support of Negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement

September 17, 2014

Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman came to Capitol Hill today and joined the Coalition for Green Trade, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) in support of the launch of negotiations for the WTO Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA). Ambassador Froman highlighted the benefits this deal will deliver in terms of protecting the global environment and unlocking economic opportunity for American workers and businesses.

On July 8, the United States and 13 other WTO Members, representing 86 percent of global trade in environmental goods, officially launched negotiations on the EGA in Geneva, which takes aim at tariffs on environmental technologies. 

“As President Obama said last year when announcing his Climate Action Plan, ‘there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth,’” said Ambassador Froman. “The Environmental Goods Agreement, or EGA, is a core component of that plan and a reminder of how trade, done right, advances both our interests and our values. A successful Environmental Goods Agreement will unlock economic opportunity by driving demand for more Made-in-America exports, allowing more American workers and business to make environmental goods here and sell them everywhere. Through these negotiations, we can protect the environment, support American jobs, and make good on one of the most fundamental obligations of all: to put the world on a better trajectory of sustainable economic growth.”   

Multiple businesses who manufacture Made-in-America environmental goods demonstrated products that they are exporting or intend to export in the near future, each of them stressing that the EGA will help their businesses grow the U.S. economy by eliminating the tariffs they face across the world.

Global trade in environmental goods totals nearly $1 trillion annually, and some Members currently apply tariffs as high as 35 percent on these products.  Tariffs add unnecessary costs to the green technologies and solutions we need to protect the environment.  By taking action to eliminate those barriers, the EGA can make a major contribution to green growth and sustainable development.  It will also increase market access for U.S. manufacturers, service providers, and workers – supporting more green jobs.

The launch of negotiations in Geneva in July marked an important step forward in our efforts to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods, such as wind turbines, water treatment filters, and solar water heaters.  The second round of EGA negotiations will take place in Geneva September 22-26, 2014. 

The United States is joined in the Environmental Goods Agreement negotiations by Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and Chinese Taipei.

To view USTR’s fact sheet on the Environmental Goods Agreement launch, please click here

To read the remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the Coalition for Green Trade Environmental Goods Agreement Event, please click here.