April 01, 2011

Wyden Praises Conservation Proposal put forward by American Trade Negotiators

Washington, D.C. – In a welcome step forward this week, American negotiators in Singapore have put forward a trade proposal with robust environmental standards and solid enforcement provisions.  During trade talks among Pacific Rim countries the USTR proposed to establish binding commitments to combat trade and commerce in illegally harvested wildlife and timber. It will require countries to combat trade and commerce in illegally harvested fish and reduce fishing subsidies that contribute toward overfishing.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, released the following statement:

“This proposal can set a new standard where trade agreements result in a substantial improvement in the environmental practices of the participating nations.  The proposal put forward by the USTR represents a new approach, recognizing that the ultimate objective of any trade agreement is to raise living standards for all the citizens of the member countries. That means protecting the environment and ensuring conservation of resources that sustain ways of life around the Pacific Rim.  I especially want to acknowledge Mr. Mark Linscott, our Assistant Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources, for working with me and many important stakeholders to develop and put forward this meaningful conservation proposal.  While I am seriously concerned about other proposed provisions of the TPP, the efforts by the USTR on the environment deserve special recognition.”

United States negotiators from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) are in Singapore this week to discuss provisions of a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP).