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Canada Welcomes Launch of Negotiations on WTO Environmental Goods AgreementTuesday, July 08, 2014 > 12:40:08
Canada’s world-class sustainable technologies industry stands to benefit from a growing market expected to reach $3 trillion by 2020
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that Canada along with 13 other World Trade Organization members, including China, the European Union, Japan and the United States, are launching negotiations toward a new WTO plurilateral agreement on environmental goods. The first round of negotiations will take place on July 9 and 10, 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan identifies the sustainable technologies sector as a priority for Canada to create jobs and opportunities. Participating in these negotiations is consistent with the government’s leadership on the world stage in support of freer and more open trade, as well as with its trade expansion plan—the most ambitious in Canadian history.
An agreement on environmental goods would give Canadian companies—already leaders in the sustainable-technologies industry—a significant commercial advantage in exporting a broad range of environmental products, such as equipment used in the production of renewable energy, air-handling equipment, water treatment technologies and waste management and recycling equipment.
- According to the 2013 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report, the sector consists of over 700 technology companies, composed primarily of small and medium-sized enterprises operating in every region of Canada.
- In 2011, Canada’s sustainable technologies industry employed 52,600 people.
- The same year, industry revenues reached $10.6 billion, representing 1 percent of the global clean-technology market, and export revenues stood at just over $5 billion, with 44 percent of export sales going to non-U.S. markets.
- As part of a broad effort to lead by example in support of trade liberalization, Canada in recent years has unilaterally reduced tariffs on machinery and equipment and inputs used in industrial manufacturing, which included numerous environmental goods.
- As of March 2013, Canada has fully implemented the APEC commitment to liberalize trade in a list of 54 environmental goods announced by APEC leaders in 2012 by capping their tariffs at 5 percent. By implementing its APEC commitment two years ahead of the deadline, Canada continues to demonstrate global trade leadership.