Global ‘environmental goods’ deal collapses

Global ‘environmental goods’ deal collapses

Nearly four dozen countries, including the United States, China and EU members failed to agree on “environmental goods” deal as china submitted impossible late demands at World Trade Organization (WTO) talks.

The two-day meeting of 46 countries at WTO involved a bid to hit a deal on decreasing tariffs on more than 200 environment-friendly goods worth $1 trillion in trade per annum. EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom called it crucial to show that trade and environment protection can go hand in hand.

The bid collapsed, Europe’s trade negotiator blamed China, accusing the Asian country of hindering the global effort by submitting impossible late demands.

Malmstrom said in a statement, “Had that (China's list) come earlier we could have worked on this. But now this made it impossible to find an agreement, we were too far away from each other.”

Defending China, the country’s Ministry of Commerce said Chinese officials made a great effort to show the flexibility required to effectively solve the participants’ concerns but the deal collapsed due to differences on key issues.

WTO spokesperson Keith Rockwell said that there was no idea what U.S. President-elect Donald Trump thinks about environmental matters, but expressed hope the U.S. would be on board. Any deal would need the support of countries responsible for around 90 per cent of the trade in the products, thus the U.S. absence would kill the talks. The next round of talks is scheduled for 2017.

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