PANAMA CITY – On December 5, the United States and Panama held the third meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council under the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA). Assistant United States Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton led the U.S. delegation, along with the U.S. Department of State’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Jennifer Littlejohn.
The Parties highlighted their respective efforts to implement Environment Chapter commitments during the meeting, including their actions to strengthen environmental protection, enforce environmental laws, and promote public participation in environmental decision-making. The Council also discussed efforts to address wildlife trafficking and illegal logging and associated trade, and affirmed a shared interest to further collaborate to address these challenges.
The Council received updates from the Secretariat for Environmental Enforcement Matters (SEEM) on active public submissions and recent factual records. To date, the SEEM has received six submissions, including a submission related to marine oil pollution. The submissions process is a cornerstone of public participation in the TPA Environment Chapter.
The Council also held a stakeholder session on December 5 that included a wide range of civil society and private sector representatives. The session reflected both Parties’ commitment to maintaining an open dialogue and a participatory process regarding TPA implementation. The session also provided an opportunity for members of the public to offer comments and ask questions, both in person and online.
The United States and Panama have issued a Joint Communiqué regarding the Council meetings.