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U.S. Seeks to Lower Tariffs on Environmental Goods and Services; China Calls the Push Too Ambitious

“Rejecting criticism by China that the Obama administration’s goals for this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit are too ambitious, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said the U.S. will “push the envelope” to promote trade in renewable energy technology.

Kirk is seeking an agreement with 20 other APEC nations to lower tariffs on environmental goods and services, a move supported by companies such as General Electric Co. (GE) and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) The U.S. has pushed for free trade in those products as part of the stalled Doha Round of World Trade Organization talks.

“I understand China may be uncomfortable with it,” Kirk said yesterday in an interview in Washington. “We’re always going to try to push the envelope and encourage our partners to be more assertive, more forward-thinking. We don’t serve the interests of American entrepreneurs and innovators if we go in and always see the floor as the highest level of ambition.”

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