Free Trade in Environmental Goods Will Increase Access to Green Tech



James Bacchus, Inu Manak | CATO Institute

Negotiations to liberalize trade in environmental goods began in 2014 at the World Trade Organization (WTO) with the aim of removing tariffs on a wide range of environment-related products. While there was ample progress in just two years, talks soon stalled as countries clashed over the content of the deal. With President Biden’s focus on addressing climate change, he has an opportunity to relaunch these talks and encourage other countries to come to the table. Freeing trade in environmen- tal goods is a policy area with bipartisan consensus, and one which can help achieve the goal of moving toward a greener economy. This paper provides an overview of negotiations on freeing trade in environmental goods to date, details the hurdles to a final deal, and suggests the inclusion of environ- mental services in a subsequent negotiation package to fully reap the benefits of this growing sector.




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