Statement by Ambassador Katherine Tai on Earth Day

April 22, 2022

On this Earth Day, we mark our collective efforts to protect our planet from harmful practices that put our communities and our future at risk.
The Biden-Harris Administration believes that trade can be an important tool to advance our environmental sustainability goals. By working with partners and allies that share our objectives, we can make historic progress at home and abroad.
That principle guided our effort to reach a milestone agreement on steel and aluminum with the European Union and launch negotiations on the world’s first carbon-based sectoral arrangement on steel and aluminum trade.  The deal will support the reduction of carbon intensity in those industries, and it represents a major step forward in the global fight against climate change.
In October 2021, USTR also announced an agreement with Vietnam that will help keep illegally harvested or traded timber out of supply chains and protect key environment and natural resources. This week, we convened the first meeting of the U.S.-Vietnam Timber Working Group as part of our efforts to ensure implementation of this agreement.
Along with these accomplishments, we continue to work with our interagency partners to monitor and enforce the environmental obligations in our trade agreements, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  We are using additional resources to strengthen environmental enforcement capacity, combat illegal logging, and promote sustainable fisheries management and conservation of marine species.  The United States will continue to work with scientific experts and empower local communities to effectively monitor and enforce the USMCA’s environmental obligations.   
Protecting the environment and fighting climate change is one of President Biden’s top global priorities and USTR will continue to pursue environmentally-conscious trade policies that protect global resources and eliminate harmful, illegal practices.


More information on USTR’s environmental work can be found here.