We wanted to provide you with an update on the effort to reduce/eliminate customs duties on “environmental goods” through international agreement.
Every company should review the attached list of “environmental goods”. The items described on this list are under consideration by the United States for possible elimination of customs duties under an environmental goods agreement (EGA). As you will see, the list is extensive and includes a number of items that are not traditionally thought of as “environmental goods” (e.g., chemicals, ball bearings, certain electronic equipment, consumer products, etc.). The economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for these goods in the United States under the EGA is currently being studied by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). We anticipate that the ITC will request public comment on these goods in the near future.
Companies with an interest in having the items on this list designated (or not designated) as “environmental goods” should act now to submit comments to the U.S. Trade Representative by the May 5, 2014 deadline referenced in our earlier e-mail below. If your company’s goods are not on the list, it is not too late to have them considered as “environmental goods”, if they have some environmental benefit, however slight. The attached Client Alert describes the significance of getting your company’s products covered under the EGA and the next steps to take. Companies whose products are covered under the EGA stand to achieve a significant competitive advantage (particularly as compared to companies whose products are not covered).
Please let us know if you have any questions about the EGA negotiations or would like our assistance with making submissions to USTR.