On Thursday, Ambassador Kirk visited the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson co-administered the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee’s (TEPAC) fourth meeting of the Obama Administration. They discussed the link between trade policies and the environment, and how the two work to bolster the economy and support jobs. The committee’s agenda focused on the latest developments of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the United States’ hosting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2011, and the “green growth” agenda with environmental services and goods. They also discussed the ongoing Doha negotiations, and the Administration’s efforts on e-waste.
During the meeting Ambassador Kirk updated the members on the latest with regards to the TPP negotiations, noting that this regional agreement is an “unprecedented opportunity to advance our economic interests in the critical Asia-Pacific region.” He also noted that both USTR and the EPA are committed to having high-quality environmental provisions in the TPP. Ambassador Kirk and Administrator Jackson both thanked the members of TEPAC for their submission of comments regarding TPP.
Administrator Jackson spoke about the international priorities of EPA such as, combating climate change, improving air quality, expanding access to clean water and educating other countries about e-waste. She also spoke about the importance of continuing advancement and ingenuity by the U.S. when it comes to the development of clean energy technology and products. Leading the way, the United States’ green sector provides tremendous opportunity for domestic products to be exported globally. Administrator Jackson concluded this is another example of how to increase American exports and grow jobs, while supporting the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI).