Canada to Join WTO Talks Toward Global Free Trade in Environmental GoodsFriday, January 24, 2014 > 10:25:08
(Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development Canada)
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that Canada will join 13 World Trade Organization members, including China, the European Union, Japan and the United States, in negotiations toward a new WTO plurilateral agreement on environmental goods. Minister Fast is in Davos to lay the groundwork for these negotiations.
The recently announced Global Markets Action Plan identifies the sustainable technologies sector as a priority for Canada. This market was valued at $1 trillion in 2012 and is expected to reach $3 trillion by 2020. The conclusion of an ambitious agreement on environmental goods liberalization would enhance access to a broad range of environmental products, such as solar panels, wind turbine towers, hydraulic turbines, air-handling equipment, water treatment technologies and waste management or recycling equipment.
More open trade will increase the availability and lower the cost of environmental goods for consumers and users and will provide incentives for Canadian businesses to develop new products to protect the environment. As a result, an ambitious agreement will significantly facilitate the achievement of the green growth and sustainable development objectives of WTO economies by creating a win-win situation for trade and the environment. Furthermore, joining these negotiations is consistent with the Harper government’s leadership on the world stage in support of freer and more open trade as part of the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history.