Fair and Open Trade

WWEMA strongly supports free and open trade to maximize the ability of our member companies to sell their products and technologies in the U.S. and abroad. To that end, WWEMA advocates for:

Fair trade and the elimination of barriers to fair trade for environmental goods and services.

  • We’ve taken a stand against onerous “Buy American” provisions in a variety of bills affecting the water and wastewater industry. Such language results in infrastructure project delays, increased project costs, retaliation by our trading partners, and ultimately a loss of American commerce and jobs. Most recently, WWEMA has opposed “Buy American” language in the EPA 2016 Appropriations bill and in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 and has created an information portal on the issue.
  • Through participation in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC), WWEMA and its members have played an instrumental role in establishing a comprehensive list of water and wastewater products included in the recent trade agreement reached by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and in ongoing trade negotiations by the World Trade Organization. These agreements will lower or eliminate international tariffs on many of the water and wastewater treatment products our members produce, making it easier for them to expand and grow their market overseas.

WWEMA works to eliminate barriers and unnecessary costs associated with acceptance and use of our members’ products.

  • WWEMA supports the Water Environment Federation’s Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) program to promote adoption of innovative technologies and practices.
  • In March 2013, WWEMA and the U.S. Water Alliance held an Innovating for Water’s Future roundtable, bringing together industry leaders to discuss how to eliminate the barriers to the development and adoption of new technologies within the water industry.
  • WWEMA co-chaired a technical session at the American Water Works Association ACE13, ACE14, and ACE15 conventions on Overcoming Barriers to Innovative Technology.
  • As part of a coalition of water and construction industry groups, WWEMA successfully advocated for a bill that repealed the imposition of a 3 percent withholding tax on certain payments made to contractors by government entities. The bill overwhelmingly passed in the House and Senate and was signed into law.
  • WWEMA was instrumental in the elimination of National Fire Protection Association standards prohibiting the use of fiberglass in products used in pumping stations and treatment plants.

WWEMA advises federal agencies and departments on policies and programs to help bolster U.S. exports of environmental goods and services.


  • Holds several seats on the Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee, chaired by the U.S. Department of Commerce. As part of our work on the committee, we helped conduct a study of U.S. competitiveness in environmental goods and services.
  • Successfully supported reauthorization and continued funding for the Export-Import Bank in 2015 to ensure future U.S. company competitiveness when selling products abroad.
  • Participated in a U.S. Department of Commerce-sponsored Water Technology Industry Leadership Roundtable to identify opportunities for industry and the government to collaborate on improving international competitiveness.


  • June 1