Trade Policy and Our Oceans: Ambassador Froman’s Statement on President Obama’s Executive Actions to Preserve and Protect Oceans

Froman highlights ongoing USTR objectives in major trade agreements that will promote ocean sustainability

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman issued the following statement following the President’s announcement of new executive action to combat illegal fishing and support trade in legal, sustainable seafood.  

“USTR welcomes establishment of the Presidential Task Force to deter illegal fishing and to protect our oceans and marine resources,” said Ambassador Froman.  “Keeping our oceans healthy requires us to use every tool we have available and trade policy is a powerful tool.  Strong, enforceable environmental provisions are central objectives for the Administration in our ongoing trade negotiations and we’re making good progress.  In TPP, for example, we’re seeking groundbreaking new commitments that will protect our oceans and promote environmental sustainability.”

The Administration is negotiating two of the most ambitious trade agreements in history – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) Agreement negotiations with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) negotiations with 11 other Asia-Pacific countries.  Together these agreements will cover a significant amount of the world’s seafood trade, and present an opportunity to advance ground-breaking oceans and marine conservation commitments – never before included in a trade agreement.

Specifically, the United States is pursuing TPP commitments to:

  • Advance sustainable fisheries management, including management systems that are based on internationally recognized best practices and the best scientific information available;
  • Combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
  • Prohibit some of the most harmful fisheries subsidies, such as those that contribute to overfishing; and

Promote the long term conservation of sharks and other threatened marine species. 


To view Ambassador Michael Froman's remarks from the Department of State 'Our Oceans' Conference, please click here