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Major trade powers pledge free trade in green goods

Published on Jan 25, 2014 3:37 AM

DAVOS (REUTERS) - The world's biggest trading powers committed on Friday to achieving global free trade in environmental goods, though they gave no timeline for a deal they said would boost the fight against climate change.

A joint statement by the United States, the European Union, China, Japan and several other developed economies said the agreement would take effect once a critical mass of members of the World Trade Organisation participate.

That gets around the WTO's requirement for unanimity on trade deals. The initiative is in line with new WTO chief Roberto Azevedo's drive to break a decade-old deadlock in world trade negotiations by tackling the most promising areas for agreement first.

Last month, the WTO reached its first trade reform agreement at talks in Bali, potentially adding hundreds of billions of dollars to the global economy.

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