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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 16, 1999



By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to further the environmental and trade policy goals of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The United States is committed to a policy of careful assessment and consideration of the environmental impacts of trade agreements. The United States will factor environmental considerations into the development of its trade negotiating objectives. Responsible agencies will accomplish these goals through a process of ongoing assessment and evaluation, and, in certain instances, written environmental reviews.

Sec. 2. Purpose and Need. Trade agreements should contribute to the broader goal of sustainable development. Environmental reviews are an important tool to help identify potential environmental effects of trade agreements, both positive and negative, and to help facilitate consideration of appropriate responses to those effects whether in the course of negotiations, through other means, or both.

Sec. 3. (a) Implementation. The United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality shall oversee the implemen-tation of this order, including the development of procedures pursuant to this order, in consultation with appropriate foreign policy, environmental, and economic agencies.

(b) Conduct of Environmental Reviews. The Trade Representative, through the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), shall conduct the environmental reviews of the agreements under section 4 of this order.

Sec. 4. Trade Agreements.

(a) Certain agreements that the United States may negotiate shall require an environmental review. These include:

(i) comprehensive multilateral trade rounds;

(ii) bilateral or plurilateral free trade agreements; and

     (iii) major new trade liberalization agreements in natural resource

(b) Agreements reached in connection with enforcement and dispute resolution actions are not covered by this order.

(c) For trade agreements not covered under subsections 4(a) and (b), environmental reviews will generally not be required. Most sectoral liberalization agreements will not require an environmental review. The Trade Representative, through the TPSC, shall determine whether an environmental review of an agreement or category of agreements is warranted based on such factors as the significance of reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts.

Sec. 5. Environmental Reviews.

(a) Environmental reviews shall be:

(i) written;

     (ii) initiated through a Federal Register notice, outlining the
     proposed agreement and soliciting public comment and information on
     the scope of the environmental review of the agreement;

     (iii) undertaken sufficiently early in the process to inform the
     development of negotiating positions, but shall not be a condition
     for the timely tabling of particular negotiating proposals;

     (iv) made available in draft form for public comment, where
     practicable; and

     (v)   made available to the public in final form.

(b) As a general matter, the focus of environmental reviews will be impacts in the United States. As appropriate and prudent, reviews may also examine global and transboundary impacts.

Sec. 6. Resources. Upon request by the Trade Representative, with the concurrence of the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, Federal agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, pro-vide analytical and financial resources and support, including the detail of appro-priate personnel, to the Office of the United States Trade Representative to carry out the provisions of this order.

Sec. 7. General Provisions. This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and does not create any right, benefit, trust, or responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.


November 16, 1999.

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