Joint Statement Regarding the Launch of the Environmental Goods Agreement Negotiations

8 July 2014 at Geneva, Switzerland

Earlier this year, the representatives of Australia; Canada; China; Costa Rica; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Korea; New Zealand; Norway; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; and the United States, committed to begin preparations for negotiations to liberalise trade in environmental goods, building on the APEC List of Environmental Goods.

The global challenges we face, including environmental protection and climate change, require urgent action. Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), through which we aim to achieve our shared goal of global free trade in environmental goods. We will now engage in intensive negotiations, meeting regularly in Geneva, to discuss the substance of the agreement, including product coverage. We are committed to work towards the timely and successful conclusion of the agreement.

In this process we are committed to work together and with other WTO Members similarly committed to liberalization that are interested in joining our ambitious efforts. We are convinced that this WTO initiative will strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system, support its mission to liberalise trade, provide important impetus to the DDA negotiations and benefit all WTO Members, including by involving all major traders and applying the principle of Most Favoured Nation, once a critical mass of Members agree to participate.