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Environmental trade agreement negotiators hope to conclude by year end

November 1, 2016

The 17th round of negotiations between certain members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) took place from October 16-20 in Geneva.

Global Affairs Canada reports that "participants focussed discussions on the most sensitive products in an effort to achieve successful conclusion by the end of 2016. These discussions were held in small groups that included key proponents and opponents of each product.

Participants agreed to intensify intersessional work and to hold the next round of negotiations from November 26 to December 2, 2016.

Following the round, trade ministers and senior officials from 11 EGA participants (Canada as well as Australia, China, EU, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States) met on the margins of the informal WTO Mini-Ministerial Meeting in Oslo, Norway on October 22, 2016. They took stock of the progress that has been made in the negotiations and reaffirmed the goal of delivering an ambitious EGA by the end of 2016. They also instructed negotiators to resolve as many outstanding issues as possible prior to a concluding meeting."

The current EGA participants are: Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Chinese Taipei, the European Union, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, United States, Israel, Turkey and Iceland.

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