Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements
USTR's Office of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) is responsible for negotiating environment chapters in all bilateral Free Trade Agreements (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 office works closely with the State Department in negotiating and implementing environmental cooperation mechanisms associated with FTAs. Our office anticipates an increasing enforcement role with respect to FTA environment chapters, particularly with respect to implementation of a forest annex to the Peru chapter.
The office has also pursued bilateral initiatives to address illegal logging and associated trade, and has the lead responsibility for implementing agreements with Indonesia and China on illegal logging and trade.
The office works closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies on activities under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation and has the lead responsibility for the trade and environment program under the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The office also has the lead responsibility for the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTO) and the International Coffee Agreement (ICO).
The Administration is seeking a TPP environment chapter that will facilitate increased regional trade while supporting and enhancing environmental protection and conservation efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States is pressing for ambitious core commitments as part of a robust TPP environment chapter, including with respect to establishing high levels of environmental protection, the effective enforcement of environmental laws, and public participation. Additionally, the United States has proposed commitments to address trade and conservation challenges, such as illegal trade in wildlife and marine fisheries issues. For more information regarding these proposals, please see the green paper and speech.