WASHINGTON – The United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam today convened the first meeting of the Timber Working Group under the Agreement Between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Government of the United States of America on Illegal Logging and Timber Trade (“Timber Agreement”). Assistant United States Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton led the delegation for the U.S. government.
Announced in October 2021, the Timber Agreement addresses U.S. concerns in the first-ever environment-focused investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The Agreement secures commitments that will help keep illegally harvested or traded timber out of the supply chain and protect the environment and natural resources.
The Timber Working Group was established to facilitate coordination between the parties and oversee the implementation of the Timber Agreement. This first meeting of the Timber Working Group established a strong basis for further collaboration on implementation of the Timber Agreement. Discussions focused on Vietnam’s progress to date to implement its commitments under the agreement, as well as current and potential future technical assistance and capacity building activities.
Illegally harvested timber not only harms the environment and depletes natural resources, but also disadvantages U.S. workers and businesses who use lawful and sustainable means to make their goods. The United States will continue to closely monitor Vietnam’s implementation of this Agreement. The second meeting of the Timber Working Group will take place later this year.