Environmental Goods Agreement
Developing countries have not participated in WTO negotiations to reduce barriers to trade in environmental products. If the negotiations are concluded, will the benefit of trade and the environment be extended to the benefit of developing countries? This section provides an overview of a comprehensive set of data on trade barriers for newly compiled environmental products, and demonstrates that tariffs and non-tariff barriers are still a barrier to trade, while similar rules stimulate it. A broader list of environmental goods would attract the involvement of developing countries, but it also requires protecting developing countries from WTO challenges. Removing trade barriers is expected to increase the volume of trade. Are there different models for environmental goods and how important is the regulatory environment as it is covered by a degree of regulatory overlap? Estimates of structural gravity for 2014, reported in our journal, show that environmental goods behave no other behaviour than other goods. This similarity reflects the fact that, although the APEC list represents only about 8% of the total number of product lines, each environmental specificity is unclear. Therefore, reducing tariffs and increasing regulatory duplication means greater bilateral trade. On average, a 10% increase in regulatory duplication is related to an increase in bilateral trade in non-biological goods of about 2%. These results reflect the mercantilist behaviour of the negotiators, who excluded high tariff products and products for which import demand would be most sensitive to tariff reductions from the APEC list. Global trade in environmental goods is estimated at nearly $1 trillion a year and is growing rapidly. The United States exported $238 billion in environmental goods in 2015 and U.S.
exports of environmental goods have increased by 6% per year since 2012. However, other countries impose tariffs of up to 50% on these products. By removing tariffs, we can help create competitive conditions for American producers and workers while supporting good green jobs. This cycle, which focused on environmental monitoring, analysis and evaluation products, environmentally friendly products and resource efficiency, was the last opportunity for participants to make product nominations in the early rounds. Canada submitted its nominations in all three categories under discussion and presented its final list of nominations, including updates to its previous appointments. Two new participants, Turkey and Iceland, were added during this round, bringing the total number of WTO members participating in the negotiations to 17. The fourth round of negotiations took place from January 26 to 30, 2015 and was the subject of discussions on clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency products, which were identified by Canada and other EGA participants.