Outdoor gear manufacturer Cascade Designs represented U.S. manufacturers at the recent Environmental Goods Agreement Launch event, hosted by the Coalition for Green Trade and led by senior government officials including Ambassador Michael Froman (U.S. Trade Representative), Senator Ron Wyden (Chairman, Senate Finance Committee), and Representative Dave Camp (Chairman, Ways and Means). The event featured a discussion on the WTO Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations, a major new initiative to eliminate barriers to trade in green technologies.
President of Cascade Designs Joe McSwiney had the honor of speaking at the event, to share his perspective on how the EGA would benefit a U.S. manufacturer. Under the EGA, Cascade Designs could export, tariff-free, water filtration and purification products for the outdoor recreation and global health markets.
“The tariff reductions afforded by the EGA will greatly enhance the global reach of our new water purification technology,” said McSwiney. “More importantly, it will accelerate trade in environmental product in general, enabling us to leverage green technology in more applications, increase jobs, and ultimately make a greater difference in global health.Cascade Designs partnered with PATH, World Vision, and Laird Norton Family Foundation, global health non-profit organizations, to develop a new water purification device–the MSR Smart Electrochlorinator (SE200)–to bring clean water to populations around the world. Recently approved for commercialization, the coffee mug-sized SE200 revolutionizes water treatment by using only a 12-volt car battery and salt to create a precise chlorine solution in just five minutes, which then can treat 55 gallons of water. It’s simple, reliable, safe and cost-effective design empowers communities with a sustainable means to creating safe drinking water.
Fourteen economies–accounting for 86 percent of global trade–are negotiating the Environmental Goods Agreement to eliminate tariffs on environmental technologies, such as wind turbines, water treatment filters, and solar water heaters, which can run as high as 35% and pose a significant barrier to trade for U.S. companies.
“As President Obama said last year when he announced the Climate Action Plan, ‘there is no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth,'” remarked Ambassador Froman. ” By removing barriers to global trade in environmental goods, we can promote technologies that allow better access to safe water, sanitation, and clean energy we can encourage countries to adopt strategies for sustainable development and help drive innovation that could lead to even cleaner technologies. And the best part is… we can do all of this while helping to support American jobs.”
Cascade Designs’ partners in global health and disaster preparedness include PATH, World Vision, Laird Norton Family Foundation, DARPA, and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.
360.313.7070, ext. 2
Logo courtesy Cascade Designs