Rules of Trade

As countries become ever more interdependent and international trade in energy increases, the rules governing the energy sector generate increasing concern everywhere. This concern reflects the importance of rules that comprehensively address the needs from the supply and demand point of view and integrate the international fabric of energy trade.

The World Energy Council has been working to advance global integration, improve market access and overcome trade barriers for energy goods and services for many years, and has been successfully informing and influencing the debate both on a global and regional level. Globally we work with organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Regionally we work with organisations such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

International agreements, such as the recent agreement of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members, serve as leading examples in this context. Further to the Council’s recommendation, APEC members agreed to cap tariff rate on 54 ‘environmental goods’ at 5% by 2015.

“Many of these ‘environmental goods’ are energy products.  Reducing both tariffs and non-tariff market access barriers will lower the cost of new energy-efficient technologies, thereby spurring their utilisation and ultimately help broaden development and environmental goals for the world community at large.”

In line with the Council’s neutral position, the various discussion reports are not directly tied to multilateral processes, and we endeavour to ensure that pure political considerations are excluded from the processes. Therefore the recommendations can be used in a range of negotiations and forums, whether regional or bilateral.


Tim Richards, Executive Chair of the Task Force on Energy and Trade

WP_Tim RichardsTim Richards serves as Chairman of the Council’s Task Force on Energy and Trade.

He is General Electric’s Senior Executive for Government Affairs and Policy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region. Prior to his current position, Mr Richards was GE’s Managing Director for Energy Policy, based in Washington, D.C.  In that capacity, he served on the boards and chaired trade and energy committees of a number of trade associations, including the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the U.S. – India Business Council and the National Association of Manufacturers.  Before joining GE, Mr Richards was the Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Western Europe and the Middle East from July 1994 through January 1996. From August 1991 through July 1994, he served as the trade policy attaché at the United States Mission to the European Union in Brussels, and from 1988 to 1991, he acted as Director for Information Industry Trade Policy at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

For further information, contact Sandra Winkler, Director, PMO and Special Projects.

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