Skip to Content


Plant holding EarthUSTR's Office of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) has broad responsibilities to leverage trade negotiations and relationships to pursue environmental achievements.  In recent years, ENR has pursued this mission across a variety of multilateral, regional and bilateral initiatives, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), APEC, free trade agreements (FTAs), trade and investment framework agreements (TIFAs) and commodity trade agreements.  ENR also works with other USTR offices to develop and implement policies associated with foreign environmental measures that impact U.S. trade interests and represents USTR and trade interests in negotiations on multilateral environmental agreements.

Additionally, ENR is responsible for conducting environmental reviews of multilateral and FTA negotiations and an annual report on trade barriers to greenhouse gas intensity-reduction technologies.  ENR is responsible for negotiating environment chapters in all FTAs.  These chapters include obligations on effective enforcement of laws, non-derogation of environmental protections in encouraging increased trade or investment, domestic procedural protections, and promotion of public participation in environmental matters.

The Obama Administration has continued and enhanced U.S. efforts to address environmental objectives through multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade initiatives.

On the multilateral front, the United States has been a global leader in seeking to discipline harmful fisheries subsidies and eliminate barriers to trade in environmental technologies and services, including clean energy technologies, through the WTO as part of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

In the context of regional and bilateral agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and the U.S.-Chile FTA, we are cooperating to address a wide variety of environmental topics including those related to expanded trade. We are working cooperatively with the Government of Peru to ensure effective implementation of the groundbreaking environmental provisions contained in the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.

The Administration has also utilized additional bilateral trade fora, such as the United States-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the Strategic Economic Dialogue with China, to leverage action on critical global environmental challenges, such as illegal logging.