As you may recall, for the last year, the United States Trade Representative has been actively engaged in negotiating an Environmental Goods Agreement (“EGA”) with sixteen separate customs territories (plus the EU) at the WTO. Last week, the USTR official with responsibility for these negotiations provided an optimistic briefing on the progress made through the most recent (6th) round of negotiations, and explained that USTR was now looking for further assistance from the private sector.
The USTR is requesting that businesses with an interest in the outcome of the EGA negotiations provide non-branded 1-page product summaries, which identify the relevant features and environmental benefits of products under consideration for inclusion in the agreement. The USTR will compile these summaries in an internal database, which will be accessible to negotiators from all delegations, for use in the negotiations.
We believe that this represents a significant opportunity for companies engaged in the global trade of environmental goods. This is a chance to meaningfully frame the dialogue regarding environmental credibility and which products should be included in the agreement. The potential long-term benefits of reduced or eliminated duties on a wide range of products in numerous jurisdictions are substantial.
If you have any questions as to whether your products may be eligible for benefits under this agreement, or if you would like to see a sample 1-page product summary, please let us know.