Brady urges Trump to complete environmental goods deal

Brady urges Trump to complete environmental goods deal
© Greg Nash

A top House Republican on Tuesday urged Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE to complete an environmental goods trade deal that would eliminate foreign taxes on hundreds of U.S. exports. 

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Senate approves motion to go to tax conference Overnight Finance: GOP delays work on funding bill amid conservative demands | Senate panel approves Fed nominee Powell | Dodd-Frank rollback advances | WH disputes report Mueller subpoenaed Trump bank records MORE (R-Texas) lamented that talks had stalled last weekend in Geneva to complete the Environmental Goods Agreement this year as wide gaps remained between China and the 17 other participants.

ADVERTISEMENT
“I encourage the new administration to take these negotiations up and work to conclude a robust Environmental Goods Agreement that is a good deal for American manufacturers, consumers and workers,” Brady said. 

The environmental agreement, which had been under negotiation since July 2014, was hindered by China's increasing demands that made a deal impossible before the end of President Obama’s term. 

“While I’m disappointed that China was not prepared to conclude the agreement this weekend, I hope that a strong agreement can be reached very soon,” Brady said.

The agreement was one of several trade pacts, and considered the most likely, on the president's to-do list that could have wrapped up this year. 

But the president’s trade agenda got put on ice after Trump’s surprise win last month. 

Even with the improved prospects for U.S. businesses under the agreement, a volatile relationship between Trump and Beijing may weigh on future discussions. 

The president-elect unleashed a barrage of criticism against China on Twitter over the weekend in response to the backlash he received over a telephone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-we.

China is the world's second largest economy and wields a strong economic hand in the Pacific Rim. 

U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael FromanUS will investigate aluminum imports as national security hazard Overnight Finance: WH floats Mexican import tax | Exporters move to back GOP tax proposal | Dems rip Trump adviser's Goldman Sachs payout Froman heads to Council on Foreign Relations MORE and EU trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said last weekend that negotiators had "worked with all WTO members involved to achieve the broadest possible consensus through creative solutions to bridge the gaps in the negotiations."

The deal is needed because while U.S. tariffs on environmental goods are low other countries charge as much as 35 percent on these goods.

Global trade in environmental goods is estimated at nearly $1 trillion a year with the U.S. exporting $130 billion last year, according to government figures. 

The products range from wind turbines and heat pumps to energy efficient light bulbs.

The 18 participants — representing 46 World Trade Organization members — include Australia, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, Norway and Singapore.