Trade and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

USTR's Environment Office is working to make trade a part of the tool kit of solutions for addressing a number of international environmental challenges.

Marine Fisheries

USTR participates in U.S. policymaking regarding trade-related aspects of the compliance regimes of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, including the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement to address Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006

USTR works with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to implement the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, which amended the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act (MPA). The Act contains a number of international provisions, including those providing for consideration of trade measures to address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and bycatch of protected living marine resources.

Marine Mammal Protection Act

USTR works with NMFS to implement the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which prohibits, with certain exceptions, the take of marine mammals in the United States, in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction, or on the “high seas” by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  The MMPA provides that the Secretary of the Treasury shall ban the importation of commercial fish or products from fish, including from intermediary nations, which have been caught with commercial fishing technology which results in the incidental kill or incidental serious injury of ocean mammals in excess of U.S. standards.


The United States has been a leader in promoting sustainable forest management and in drawing international attention to the economic and environmental consequences of illegal logging and associated trade.

USTR has led U.S. efforts to address this issue through trade-related agreements such as the Annex on Forest Sector Governance of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.

USTR also participates in APEC's Expert Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT) to advance efforts in the Asia-Pacific aimed at preventing trade in illegally harvested timber products.

PTPA Annex of Forest Sector Governance

The Environment Chapter of the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) includes a first-ever Annex on Forest Sector Governance. The Annex recognizes the environmental and economic consequences of trade associated with illegal logging, and illegal trade in wildlife and provides for concrete steps that the Parties will take to enhance forest sector governance and promote legal trade in timber products.  Additional information is available here.

Lacey Act

The U.S. Lacey Act (16 U.S.C 3371 et seq.) is one of the oldest wildlife protection and anti-trafficking statutes. As amended, it makes it unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any plant, with some limited exceptions, taken or traded in violation of the laws of the United States, a U.S. State or a foreign country.

The Lacey Act provides an important enforcement tool to help the United States to support the efforts of other countries, and our own states, to combat illegal logging.

The Lacey Act includes a requirement of a plant import declaration. The declaration must contain, among other things, the scientific name of the plant, value of the importation, quantity of the plant, and name of the country from which the plant was harvested. USTR works with USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and other agencies to effectively implement the Lacey Act. More information is available here.

Wildlife Trafficking

USTR is a member of the Presidential Task Force to Combat Wildlife Trafficking, which was established by the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016, and works to implement the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.  The END Act supports a coordinated and strategic United States Government (USG) response to poaching and illegal trade of wildlife using a three-pronged approach – strengthening law enforcement, reducing demand, and building international cooperation.

The 2020 END Wildlife Trafficking Report can be found here.

USTR participates as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a multilateral environmental agreement aimed at ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. 

More information on CITES can be found here.