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Reuters : Major trade powers seek free trade in environmental goods (Davos)

DAVOS, Switzerland Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:20 am EST

(Reuters) – The world’s biggest trading powers unveiled a joint initiative on Thursday to achieve global free trade in environmental goods to help boost the fight against climate change.

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

That gets around the WTO’s requirement for consensus on trade agreements. The initiative is part of 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.

Last month, the WTO reached its first trade reform agreement at talks in Bali, potentially adding $1 trillion to the global economy.

(Writing by Paul Taylor)

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