In order to cut trade tariffs and custom duties, 14 WTO members include China, the EU, the US and Taiwan announced to begin a new series of trade negotiations to reduce green products’ tariffs. This may involve in trade talks between China, EU and the US to end the solar trade wars.
On July 8th, Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced in Geneva that 14 representatives (click here for the full list) have committed to begin negotiations to liberalize trade in environmental goods on the basis of the APEC List of Environmental Goods. The representatives launch negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), aiming to create a freer trade pattern for environmental goods.
Covering 54 green products include PV cells and modules, the EGA will focus on efforts of removing tariffs and customs duties. This goal shows a positive sign of the end of solar trade disputes between China, the EU and the US in recent years.
“The Obama Administration is advancing a trade policy that reflects our core values and unlocks new economic opportunities for American exporters and families – especially when it comes to fostering exports of Made-in-America environmental goods,” said Michael Froman, US’s trade representative. “By eliminating tariffs on the technologies we all need to protect our environment, we can make environmental goods cheaper and more accessible for everyone, making essential progress toward our environmental protection and trade policy goals." PV Tech cited.
The Alliance of the Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative (SETI Alliance) expresses its welcome to the talks. Its managing director, Peter C. Brun, told PV Tech that: “Using trade measures is very disruptive and they have a tendency to stay in the market place for around five years with typically high tariffs. It’s a very violent instrument.”
US’s ITC will hit second phase’s final ruling in anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs for China and Taiwan this year. In June, US Department of Commerce has unveiled its preliminary ruling in countervailing and cause damage to certain Chinese and Taiwanese PV manufacturers. Meanwhile, a group of European PV makers also plans to launch a new phase of solar trade war against China. The new EGA talks may bring a new atmosphere to the global trade market of green products.
(photo credit: Brent Finnegan via photopin cc)