Trade associations push for ôgreenö liberalization
The National Foreign Trade Council and other trade organizations on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging his administration to lower trade barriers to green goods and services by pursuing 'a swift conclusion' of a comprehensive global environmental goods and services agreement.
The associations suggested Obama use the World Trade Organization. the Forum on Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to advance the agreement.
Along with the NFTC, the letter was signed by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Coalition of Service Industries, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Organization for International Investment, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Lowering trade barriers on green goods and services would be good for the environment and the U.S. economy,' the associations wrote. 'Liberalizing green trade would help create the green jobs that will accelerate recovery of the U.S. economy.'
They urged Obama to use channels other than the Doha Round of WTO negotiations in which to implement such an agreement, saying 'the combined economic and environmental benefits of an agreement warrant the exploration of alternative or complementary efforts. We hope you will investigate the feasibility of either a plurilateral agreement at the WTO or the initiation of negotiations via another forum, balancing the need to capture a significant portion of environmental trade and an ability to enforce commitments with a framework that is flexible enough to permit the rapid conclusion of a deal.'
The groups also encouraged the president to promote the utility of lowering trade barriers on green goods and services in international environmental forums, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Major Economies Forum.