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[GreenYes] American Companies Oppose EU's "Green" Consumption Proposals

EU's "Green" Consumption Proposals Opposed by 
American Companies

The Commission of the European Communities published 
its Green Paper on Integrated Product Policy on February 7, 
2001 (see the "pdf" file at
The Green Paper proposed a strategy to develop the market 
for greener products -- ones that use fewer resources, have 
lower impacts on the environment and reduce waste generation. 
Some of the proposed strategies include adopting the "polluter 
pays principle" by charging a lower tax on products that are 
eco-labeled, developing manufacturer "take back" requirements 
for product disposal, supporting and expanding eco-labels,
driving "green" products acceptance using government 
purchasing power (termed public procurement in the report), 
etc. The Commission has been gathering comments since
the publication of the document.  

In response, the EU Committee of the American Chamber 
of Commerce issued its position paper (see which
rejected several of the plan's proposals, including its 
recommendation to introduce lower sales tax rates on 
ecolabeled products -- a key element of the plan, according 
to the Environmental News Service July 11, 2001 article 
"U.S. Firms Reject European Tax Breaks for Green 

Industry opposition could kill the proposal.  Member 
companies of the EU Committee of the American Chamber 
of Commerce include AOL Time Warner, AT&T, Boeing, 
Disney, FedEx, GE, IBM, Kodak, Procter & Gamble,
Reebok, as well as the largest oil companies and all three 
of the largest American auto makers. In addition to rejecting 
the "green" product tax breaks, the Committee also warned 
that the proposal's aim to "green" government purchasing 
could breach international trade agreements, namely the 
Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) -- a
"plurilateral" agreement of Annex 4 of the WTO Agreement. 

SOURCE: === RCA News July 2001 ===
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