House Democrats Legislation to Encourage Green Economy & Manufacturing
Washington, April 7, 2021
Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) introduced a resolution with Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Don Beyer (VA-08), Terri Sewell (AL-07), and Ron Kind (WI-03) to direct the Biden administration to restart and conclude negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA).
The EGA negotiations are designed to incentivize a greener global economy by eliminating tariffs globally on a range of environmental products, like wind turbines, solar water heaters, and bicycles. These negotiations also represent a significant opportunity to help countries across the world access high-quality affordable environmental goods while leveling the playing field for American manufacturers and supporting green jobs.
The EGA negotiations were first initiated in 2014 by 14 World Trade Organization members, including the United States, that together represent 90% of all global exports in environmental goods. However, despite 18 rounds of negotiations, an agreement was never reached, and there have not been any new negotiations since 2016. While several countries have expressed their support for continuing work on the EGA, the Trump administration refused to engage. In contrast, the Biden administration has made combatting climate change a top priority through a series of executive actions but has not restarted EGA negotiations.
“As our nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration is prioritizing bold, transformative change towards a clean energy economy. Finalizing the Environmental Goods Agreement is a critical component in achieving that goal, supporting American workers and manufacturers, and restoring American leadership on the global stage,” said DelBene.
“Reducing environmental goods tariffs will help maintain U.S. leadership in a key economic sector, support good-paying jobs, and help the world transition to a low-emissions economy as we confront the existential threat of climate change,” said Beyer. “We support the Biden administration’s efforts to create a clean energy economy and especially in our approach to trade by restarting negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement.”
“Lowering tariffs on environmental goods will benefit the American economy and help us address the threat of climate change, which disproportionately impacts communities of color,” said Sewell. “I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting this legislation as we continue to work with the Biden administration to build a thriving low-emissions economy.”
“Wisconsin manufactures and businesses rely on open markets to sell and buy products, but right now many are facing burdensome tariffs on environmental goods,” said Kind. “If our manufacturers and businesses are given a level playing field, they'll succeed. Restarting negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement is a commonsense way to help support Wisconsin manufacturers while also protecting our planet for generations to come.”
“Reducing trade barriers on environmental goods is vital to addressing the climate crisis,” said John Smirnow, General Counsel and Vice President of Market Strategy for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “SEIA commends Representative DelBene for her leadership on this important issue and looks forward to working with her on this common-sense trade policy objective.”
You can read the text of the resolution here.