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Re: Bicycles as environmental goods

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  • Hannes Schindler
    Hello two years ago you mentioned the World Trade Organization s (WTO) current negotiations on environmental goods and services that might result in removal
    Message 1 of 3 , May 31, 2008
      Hello

      two years ago you mentioned the "World Trade Organization's (WTO)
      current negotiations on environmental goods and services" that might
      result in removal of trade barriers on bicycles.

      Are there meanwhile more exact informations available?
      Hannes Schindler - http://www.afriwheels.org


      --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Rory McMullan <roryer@...> wrote:
      >
      > I support reducing the cost of bicycles to the general public, and
      believe if quality commuter bicycles and accessories can be purchased
      at lower cost then the numbers purchased will grow, as the financial
      barrier to cycling is reduced.
      >
      > This is particularily potent as theft is a major problem, and it
      is estimated that cyclists who suffer loss of bikes through theft more
      than twice cease cycling.
      >
      > If the price of bicycles for commuting is reduced, resell value
      will be limited, and theft rates lowered.
      >
      > However the industry is mainly against it in the EU.
      >
      > At the moment bicycles imported to the UK attract a 15% standard
      import duty and an extra 45% anti dumping duty for those made in China
      and aout 30% dumping duty for Vietnam.
      >
      > This is an effort to protect domestic EU bicycle manufacturers,
      which are now very few in Western Europe, although several bicycle
      assembly plants have been established in Poland and Romania.
      >
      > Production has shifted to Bangladsh, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka
      and The Phillipines to avoid EU imposed Anti Dummping Duty (ADD).
      >
      > Many bicycle companies in the UK also believe that the bicycle
      market is fixed at about 2m a year and any reduction in the cost of a
      bike simply reduces the amount of money in the industry, and so is
      generally supportive of trade barriers.
      >
      > As regards sustainability a trade barrier protecting domestic
      production can perhaps be viewed as a positive thing, reducing
      transport to the market, however as most large EU producers are
      assembly plants they still require import of the parts.
      >
      > One suggestion that might gain more universal support might be
      removal of trade barriers on commuter bikes and accessories only, with
      mudguards, sensible smooth rolling tires, reflectives etc.
      >
      > Sports bikes: Mountain bikes and drop handlebar road bikes should
      remain a tariffed item.
      >
      > Regards,
      > Rory
      >
      >
      > "Carlos F. Pardo SUTP" <carlos.pardo@...> wrote:
      > Nice info, maybe we could find a way to support?
      Letters signed by many parties, etc.
      >
      > Source: http://itdp.org/STe/ste21/wto.html
      >
      >
      > WTO Negotiations Open Possibility of Defining Bicycles
      as Environmental Goods
      >
      >
      > By Matthew Sholler
      >
      > Current efforts to designate bikes as "environmentally
      preferable products" free of tariffs
      > and other trade barriers have gone largely unnoticed by the
      international bicycling community.
      >
      > Organizations promoting bicycle use at the international level
      may have a new avenue to do so -- through the liberalization of trade
      in bicycles, bicycle parts and components, and bicycle accessories
      that could result from the World Trade Organization's (WTO) current
      negotiations on environmental goods and services.
      > The mandate for these negotiations comes from the so-called Doha
      Development Agenda (DDA), issued by trade ministers at the WTO
      Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2002. Paragraph
      31(iii) of the DDA calls for the reduction or elimination of tariff
      and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services. WTO
      ministers did not, however, define what constitutes an "environmental
      good", so the negotiations have moved forward largely on the basis of
      lists of suggested goods by WTO member economies.
      > One sub-category of products is referred to as "environmentally
      preferable products", or EPPs, deemed superior to close substitutes
      because of the way they are produced, used or disposed of.
      > At the end of 2004, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
      Development (OECD) was asked by its member countries to prepare a
      study of EPPs, concentrating on products whose liberalization would
      benefit developing countries, either through improved environmental
      outcomes or increased trade in the product. The bicycle emerged as one
      of the three EPPs the OECD Secretariat chose to study in depth.
      > (A copy of the report may be found here:
      http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/19/35841725.pdf)
      > In mid-2005, Switzerland, an OECD member country, submitted its
      own list of proposed environmental goods to the WTO, which included
      bicycles, bicycle parts and components, and certain accessories. The
      Swiss proposal has been met with mixed reactions by other member
      countries, many of which are represented in WTO negotiations by
      representatives from trade ministries who do not grasp the bicycle's
      environmental relevance. Others, usually from environment ministries,
      have generally been more supportive of the idea.
      > As of this writing, no definitive common list of environmentally
      goods has been agreed by WTO negotiators. There may still be an
      opportunity for bicycle advocates to tell their countries' WTO
      delegates just how important it is to grant "environmental good"
      status to bicycles, parts and accessories.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Check in here via the homepage at http://www.newmobility.org
      > To post message to group: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      > But please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
      > (It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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