Geneva • Diplomats from the United States, China and the European Union began talks Tuesday with 11 other countries toward a deal that would cut tariffs on almost $1 trillion of environmental goods.
The proposed agreement at the World Trade Organization would cover 86 percent of trade in goods such as solar panels and wind turbines for producing energy, filters for wastewater treatment and catalytic converters for air pollution control. U.S. exports of environmental goods reached $106 billion last year, and have grown 8 percent a year since 2009.
The negotiations also include Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and Chinese Taipei. They are meant to build on a list of 54 environmental goods put together by members of APEC — the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation for Pacific Rim economies — for which the governments hope to reduce tariffs to five percent or less by the end of 2015.