Press Releases

Representatives Blumenauer, DelBene, Peters Lead Call for High Standard, Enforceable Environmental Provisions in TPP

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Scott Peters (CA-52), and other Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives who recently voted to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), called on U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman to secure a strong and fully enforceable Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) environment chapter.

In a letter to Ambassador Froman, the lawmakers highlight that the TPP is an opportunity to raise environmental standards across 40 percent of the global economy. They note that strong environmental provisions are critical to not only protecting some of the most resource-rich areas on the planet, but also U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses consistently undermined by the environmental practices in both TPP countries and those who may join. The letter also makes clear that we cannot fight criminal networks and terrorist organizations without undercutting a key source of their funding that’s generated through the illegal trade in wildlife, forest and living marine resources. Therefore, the lawmakers urge Ambassador Froman to pursue strong obligations from TPP countries on this front.

“I am optimistic that TPP will contain major advances in international logging practices, sustainable fisheries management, and anti-whaling and shark finning efforts,” said Representative Peters. “We must also ensure that any agreement allows the United States to continue its leadership in combatting the root causes of climate change. Fighting climate change by pushing for low-emissions economies is both an environmental opportunity and an economic one for workers and businesses across America and around the world.” 

“The TPP presents an opportunity to strengthen environmental protections to a degree that no amount of foreign aid could ever bring,” said Representative Blumenauer. “Environmental miscreants are not going to unilaterally disarm. A negotiated approach, using the economic incentives in a trade agreement, is the best way to turn bad actors into violators of enforceable commitments aimed at protecting our natural resources and stopping egregious practices like whaling, shark finning, illegal logging, and wildlife trafficking. That’s why it’s critical we get the TPP environment chapter right.”    

“We need a progressive trade deal that reflects American values. The environmental chapter must help address key priorities such as illegal trade in wildlife, forest resources and overfishing,” Representative DelBene said. “Strong, enforceable environmental protections will not only help protect our planet for future generations, it will also level the playing field for small-and-medium-sized U.S. businesses by raising environmental standards. I look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador Froman on these efforts.”

Click here to read the letter.