USTR leads United States participation in two commodity trade agreements: the International Tropical Timber Agreement and the International Coffee Agreement (ICA). Both agreements establish intergovernmental organizations with governing councils.
International Tropical Timber Agreement
The International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) is often described as a "hybrid" agreement because it combines a traditional commodity trade agreement with objectives that include sustainable management of tropical forests. The ITTA established the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), an intergovernmental organization with 59 members who collectively account for about 80 percent of the world's tropical forests and 90 percent of the annual trade in tropical timber trade. The ITTO promotes market transparency by collecting, analyzing and disseminating data on the production and trade of tropical timber; assists in developing, funding and implementing projects and other activities to build capacity to sustainably manage and use tropical forests; and facilitates intergovernmental consultation and international co-operation on issues relating to the trade and utilization of tropical timber and the sustainable management of its resource base.
Negotiations for a successor agreement to the ITTA 1994 were concluded in 2006, and the new agreement (ITTA 2006) is expected to further strengthen efforts to promote tropical timber trade in the context of sustainable management of tropical forests.