WTO asked to cut tariffs on eco-goods

Green goods and services should be burdened with fewer tariffs and other trade barriers, the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) have proposed to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

All 151 members of the WTO should cut tariffs on at least 43 types of eco-friendly goods and services - including renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines - to boost usage globally, the EU and US will plead.

US trade representative Susan Schwab said on Friday: "By eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services, particularly clean energy technologies, we can lower their costs and increase global access to and use of these important products."

In a statement, the EU said that the proposal could help with the global spread of green technology, particularly in developing countries, by making it simpler and less expensive to trade in eco-friendly goods and services.

"Other products with a clear environmental benefit, for example goods related to waste water management and portable water treatment, waste management, and air pollution control could be added to this list."

A recent World Bank study found that cutting tariff and non-tariff barriers on clean energy technologies could increase trade by between seven and 14 per cent annually.

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