The APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade confirmed, in a statement issued during its annual meeting in Kazan, Russia, its commitment to reaching an agreement on a list of environmentally friendly goods and resolved to reduce applied tariff rates of 5 percent or less by the end of 2015. They pledged to agree to a list of green goods by the September summit meeting in Vladivostok, Russia.
APEC leaders agreed in November 2011 with the Obama Administration to cut tariffs on certain green products.
The group reaffirmed its commitment to accelerating the transition to a global low-carbon economy and said it’s working to strengthen regional cooperation on trade and environmental issues. The trade ministers made note of the continued work being done to promote international standards, transparency and information exchange among economies on environmental measures and requirements that could have significant trade effects.
The official statement separately addressed the group’s effort to combat illegal logging and associated trade as well as promote sustainable forest management and rehabilitation.
The US has proposed cutting tariffs on solar panels, water and wind turbines, water treatment pumps, waste incinerators, deep discharge batteries and other products aimed at boosting trade and reducing the cost of green technologies, Reuters reported.
Thirteen other APEC economies have provided lists of proposed products. China hasn’t submitted a list.
Meanwhile, China and the US have sparred over clean energy trade.
The US Commerce Department ruled last month in favor of American companies that charged Chinese exporters had illegally dumped solar panels on the US market below fair market price.
Commerce officials imposed initial tariffs of about 30 percent on solar panels imported from China. The department has continued its investigations in the trade cases and is scheduled to release final determinations in July. It’s likely the decision will be postponed until late September.
Separately, the International Trade Commission will issue this fall its final ruling on whether the US solar manufacturing industry was harmed by Chinese trade policies.
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