World Trade Organization

The United States has been a global leader in seeking to discipline harmful fisheries subsidies and to eliminate barriers to trade in environmental technologies and services, including clean energy technologies, through the World Trade Organization (WTO).


High levels of overcapacity and over fishing worldwide are a problem of global concern - too many boats chasing too few fish.

It is generally agreed that high levels of government subsidies worldwide contribute significantly to the problem. The fisheries subsidies negotiations thus offer the WTO an historic opportunity to contribute to solutions that benefit trade, the environment and sustainable development.

WTO Committee on Trade and Environment

The WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) was created by the WTO General Council on January 31, 1995, pursuant to the Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Trade and Environment.

Since then, the CTE has discussed many important issues including:

  • Market access associated with environmental measures;
  • Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and the environment;
  • Labeling for environmental purposes;
  • Capacity-building and environmental reviews

Related Links:


More on Environment in the WTO

Dispute resolution involving environment issues