What Opportunities Do You Think the Aims Set Down in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a Favorable Wto-Agreement on the Free Trade of Environmental Goods and Services Can Offer for American Companies That

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Topic 5B - Report

What opportunities do you think the aims set down in the American

Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a favorable WTO-agreement

on the free trade of environmental goods and services can offer for

American companies that sell environmental goods, technologies and

services?

Opportunities for U.S. companies

− offered by the liberalisation of EGS & the American Recovery

and Reinvestment Act

Do you agree with the aims of the Recovery Act?

In your opinion does the ARRA really provide unique opportunities for companies?

• What environmental issues should be promoted? (*nuclear waste)

• Can u think of any possibilities to provide similar opportunities to EU companies?

The report targeted to give a brief insight to what opportunities are offered to US companies - that

sell environmental goods and services (EGS) – through The American Recovery and Reinvestment

Act and through WTO agreements on this issue. Regarding the complexity and novelty of this

specific area of international trade and global economy we found that there are not many companies

dealing with EGS yet, compared to the amount that is dedicated to this sector in the frames of

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Environmental topics are being quite relevant

worldwide, also WTO has decided upon some measures recently. (e.g. Doha Round – that will be

As a starting point when we were dealing with our topic, although we had some guesses, it was

needed to clearly determine the concept of environmental goods and services. For explaining the

concept of environmental goods there is no clear, generally accepted definition, even the criteria

is lacking to identify this kind of products. Even so, a division holds regarding the different types

of environmental goods; while Class A goods are directly used in the production of environmental

services (such as chemicals, manufactured goods, etc.), Class B ones are not directly associated

with the supply of services but they exert positive or reduced negative effect on the environment,

thus they are called environmentally preferable products (EPPs). 1

In the case of environmental services, the definition of the category was agreed upon under WTO

discussion. As a base, the United Nations Central Product Classification was used, according to

2

which, environmental services cover sewage -, refuse disposal - and sanitation services, just to

Although there is a solid concordance that there is need and efforts were already made to ensure

the free trade of environmental goods and services, the negotiations could not lead to actual results

yet. These discussions were started as a part of the Doha Development Agenda which was launched

at the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference in November 2001. They were focused on the relationship

between WTO rules and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), and the elimination of

tariffs and nontariff barriers on EGS.

Even if the question is of special importance, until now no agreement was reached. The main

problems are that in case of environmental goods the absence of a definition and lack of criteria

to identify is a serious hindering factor. Before further steps could be taken, there is a need for

establishing standards at an international level. Differences between countries’ interests can not

result in consent for example about the inclusion of organic agricultural goods and biofuels to the

agreement. It is obvious that there are still many points remained to clarify and to find a common

solution for so reaching the actual favorable decision on the free trade of EGS will probably an

The other factor that provides opportunities for U.S. companies is the American Recovery and

Reinvestment Act which has come into force in February 2009. It is a package of $787 billion

aiming to boost American economy and to support federal programs, social...
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