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Environmental trade deal close to done

AAP logoAAP 1/12/2016

Australian businesses should be able to increase exports of nearly 200 environmental goods if an international trade deal is sealed this weekend.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo is hopeful the three-year negotiations for the WTO Environmental Goods Agreement will be finalised at a meeting in Geneva at the weekend.

The 17 countries involved in the deal are very close to agreeing on a list of about 200 products that are either good for the environment or used for environmental clean-ups on which they will no longer impose tariffs.

The list includes dual-flush toilets, recycled paper, air and water filters, solar cells, and boom nets.

"By reducing those tariffs obviously we want to drive growth of trade and make sure that they're more competitive in the marketplace," Mr Ciobo told AAP.

"If you say roughly what we expect to be in the basket of EGA goods, exports of those are worth roughly $1.5 billion (a year)."

When finalised, the agreement should come into effect in 2017.

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