Washington, D.C. - The
United States and China concluded a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade on the occasion of
the Third Meeting of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED III). This MOU
is a first ever between the two countries in focusing on the role of
international trade in illegal logging. The MOU will help the countries
take actions to promote trade in forest products from legally-harvested
The MOU reflects the two countries’ decision to establish a
bilateral forum for cooperation in support of efforts to combat illegal
logging. The forum will identify priority activities for cooperation,
promote trade in forest products from legally-harvested resources, encourage
public-private partnerships, and pursue negotiations on a detailed bilateral
agreement to be completed by SED IV. U. S. Trade Representative Susan C.
Schwab hailed negotiation of the MOU “as a positive step forward in using the
trade agenda to address an important environmental and conservation issue that
has significant implications for climate change.”
Forests are a major factor in the global effort to address
climate change, with deforestation worldwide accounting for approximately 20
percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. effort to conclude a cooperative
MOU on illegal logging and associated trade was co-led by the State Department
and the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Representation
in the bilateral forum will include multiple agencies on both sides to ensure a
comprehensive approach to addressing challenges presented by international trade
associated with illegal logging.
Illegal logging contributes significantly to the high rates
of deforestation currently occurring worldwide. Deforestation not only
threatens the health and survival of forests and the humans and wildlife that
depend on them; it is also estimated to contribute 20 percent of worldwide
greenhouse gas emissions.
States are the world’s two largest consuming
nations of forest products and are also major exporters.
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