Wto Environmental Goods Agreement
The 14th round of negotiations was held in Geneva from 20 to 24 June 2016. Participants met both bilaterally and in small groups and intensified their negotiating efforts to reach agreement on a definitive list of environmental products. Encouraging progress was made during the week and participants agreed to convene the next round on 25 and 29 July. On 24 January 2014, 14 WTO members pledged to open negotiations on trade liberalization of so-called “green” products by removing tariffs from a wide list of green products. This will be based on the APEC list of 54 green products. The following countries are participating in the negotiations: Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States.  This mercantilist statement does not correspond to a prediction of the beneficial effects of trade liberalization of environmental goods for developing countries. A reduction in import duties is expected to increase in the well-being of countries for low-income people. 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. Trade in environmental goods will benefit from greater convergence of legislation, provided that many participants participate in the negotiations.
This requires two changes: an expanded list of environmental products and a “GATT greening” in which countries must take measures to protect the environment in order to attract the participation of developing countries (Mavroidis and Melo 2015). The seventh round of negotiations was held in Geneva from 15 to 22 June 2015. Negotiators continued their discussions on the list of some 650 product categories, defined as subheadings of the harmonized merchandise description and codification system (i.e. the harmonized system, abbreviated SH), which were nominated in the first five cycles. Participants` views are becoming closer and closer in some product sectors, while other sectors need further consideration. In principle, participants strive to ensure that the final EGA list is environmentally credible, easy to implement by customs officers and important to both consumers and manufacturers of these products. The 16th round of negotiations was held in Geneva from 19 to 23 September 2016. Based on the G20 Heads of State and Government Communiqué and the more targeted list of products published by the EGA President during the 15th round, participants worked to reduce differences in the list of environmental products and held discussions on the draft text of the EGA. Participants agreed to hold the next round of negotiations on 16 and 20 October 2016. The second round of EGA negotiations was held in Geneva from 22 to 26 September 2014.