U.S. seeks to improve trade in environmental technologies
The Bush administration was joined by six other World Trade Organization members in a proposal to improve overseas market access for environmental technologies, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
The other WTO members to join the proposal are Canada, European Union, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland. The proposal targets the elimination of both tariff and non-tariff barriers.
“The U.S. proposals underscore our commitment to trade policies that promote clean air and water and wise management of natural resources,” said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, in a statement.
Global trade in environmental goods covered by the proposal totaled about $400 billion in 2004. WTO members charge duties as high as 70 percent on some environmental goods, impeding access to these technologies.
According to data on environmental indicators available from the World Bank and World Resources Institute, countries that trade environmental goods either have less pollution or consume energy more efficiently, or both.