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International Cooperation

Trade Engagements

Both domestically and globally, protecting human health and the environment is essential to sustainable economic growth and development. EPA supports these goals by working with domestic and international partners, providing technical analysis and capacity building assistance through knowledge-sharing and best practices, and supporting the dissemination and use of environment-friendly technologies and environmentally-supportive investments and financial instruments.

Below are some EPA engagements related to Environment, Trade and Finance.  

Recent Engagements

Prior Engagements

December 2014: 

OECD Releases New Research on the Economic Effects of Environmental Regulatory Stringency

In December 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released new research on the interaction between the stringency of environmental regulation and economic activity.  EPA played a key role in the development of this research and is a member of the OECD bureau that developed it.  

The research shows that development and implementation of stronger environmental policies in OECD countries over the past 20 years has had little effect on economic growth.  The report also concludes that strict environmental policies, designed to be flexible and to minimize barriers to competition, can support sustainable economic growth.  Along with these findings, the OECD also developed indicators on “Environmental Policy Stringency” and the “Burdens on the Economy due to Environmental Policies (BEEP).”  

The OECD is a multilateral body allowing national governments to work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. This research results from a collaborative project between the Environment and Economic Directorates. 

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October 2014:

Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC)

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell co-hosted a meeting of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC) on October 8, 2014.  TEPAC is a public advisory committee, jointly chaired by USTR and EPA, which advises on policy issues impacting international trade and global environmental quality.  

Administrator McCarthy discussed EPA’s Clean Power Plan, EPA’s support for increased trade in environmental goods, environmental policy reforms under the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement, and EPA’s chairmanship of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation with TEPAC members. Administrator McCarthy also solicited feedback on EPA’s trade-related initiatives.

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Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks at WEFTEC 2014.

September 2014:

Annual Conference of the Water Environment Federation

Administrator McCarthy participated in the Water Environment Federation’s annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, known as WEFTEC.  The annual conference took place from September 27-October 1, 2014 in New Orleans, LA.  With more than 22,000 attendees, WEFTEC is the largest conference of its kind in North America.  It is recognized as the largest annual water quality exhibition in the world.  WEFTEC has a trade show floor featuring cutting-edge technologies, and serves as a forum for domestic and international business opportunities.  

“Clean water isn’t just a health priority, it’s an economic necessity." - EPA Administrator McCarthy at WEFTEC 2014

At WEFTEC, Administrator McCarthy emphasized the importance of clean water to our economic as well as human health.  She also highlighted the need for industry help in addressing new water challenges including nutrient pollution, climate change, and decaying infrastructure.  Citing our country’s “legacy of innovating world-leading environmental technologies,” she both credited and called on the U.S. clean water solutions industry, saying “I want to thank you for the great work you do every day. Your role has always been key in the story of America’s success in cleaning up our water and strengthening our economy. But I want to challenge us to go further.”

EPA is supporting this industry through an export promotion partnership with the Department of Commerce to expand global access to U.S. environmental solutions.  Learn more about EPA’s export promotion strategy.         

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December 2012:

From December 11-13, EPA partnered with the Department of Commerce's International Buyer Program to highlight EPA’s export promotion strategy at Power Gen, the largest conference in the world for the power generation sector.

Air emissions from power generation can lead to smog, acid rain, and haze. Mercury and NOx emissions in power generation, non-road diesel emissions, and air emissions in the oil and gas industry are focus areas under the EPA export promotion strategy.

At the conference, EPA discussed its analysis of multi-pollutant control strategies for the power generation sector and the agency’s international engagements in air pollution control. EPA also met with companies and worked with Commerce’s Commercial Service Energy Team to highlight the value of U.S. environmental technologies exports and how EPA’s export promotion strategy can contribute to growth in this area.

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October 2012:

Training Session for Department of Commerce Commercial Service Officers.

The Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. It is comprised of trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries working to help U.S. companies export to international markets. The training session took place in New Orleans, LA during WEFTEC, the annual conference of the Water Environment Federation. On October 1, EPA addressed Department of Commerce Commercial Service Officers as part of a training session for Commerce's environmental technologies team. EPA's presentation focused on the agency's export promotion strategy and the broad importance of U.S. environmental technologies exports.

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July 2012:

On July 20, OGAP Deputy Director Martin Dieu participated in training for State Department Environment, Science, Technology, and Health (ESTH) officers. He discussed EPA’s export promotion efforts and their applicability to State's ESTH goals as a part of a session on the importance of environmental technologies exports.

State ESTH officers work in U.S. Embassies around the world to leverage diplomacy to advance environmental stewardship, encourage economic growth and promote social development. They cover issues including climate change, toxic chemical management, clean energy development, and environmental law collaboration and development.

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June 2012:

Administrator Jackson and Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk at TEPAC meeting, June 2012.

On June 11th, Administrator Jackson co-hosted a meeting of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC) with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk. TEPAC includes a broad range of representatives from non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academia. It provides policy advice on issues relating to trade and the environment.

Administrator Jackson reported on EPA’s export promotion strategy, the Technology Market Summit, and work in the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation.

Ambassador Kirk provided updates on trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama, and recent developments in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

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May 2012:

Then-Administrator Jackson (3rd from left), Commerce Secretary Bryson and other leaders at Technology Market Summit.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Commerce Secretary John Bryson announced joint efforts to increase U.S. exports of environmental products and services. The two agencies will work together to couple EPA’s scientific, technical, and regulatory information with Commerce's export support infrastructure.

This fall, EPA and Commerce will launch a new web-based Environmental Technologies Exporters Portal to offer U.S. companies market research, scientific analysis, finance options, and other U.S. government support mechanisms. The agencies will also partner with environmental industry trade associations to highlight international market opportunities.

Learn more:

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May 2012:

Then-Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, Michelle DePass, co-leading a meeting of the Environmental Trade Working Group (ETWG).

EPA Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, Michelle DePass, joined Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services, Nicole Lamb-Hale in leading a meeting of the Environmental Trade Working Group (ETWG) on May 7.

The ETWG is part of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC). It was created by the Export Enhancement Act of 1992 to coordinate and expand export promotion and finance efforts with regard to U.S. environmental technologies.

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April 2012:

Walker Smith, Director of EPA's Office of Global Affairs and Policy, addressed participants of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association's (WWEMA's) Washington Forum on April 26, 2012. Smith highlighted the role of international action in addressing environmental issues, EPA international activities relevant to the water sector, and the importance of water and other environmental technologies sectors to the U.S. economy.

WWEMA is a non-profit trade association representing the interests of companies that manufacture products and offer services to the potable water and wastewater treatment industries. The theme of the 2012 Washington Forum was "understanding our future and expectations of growth."

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For additional information on EPA's trade programs, contact:
Joe Ferrante
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: ferrante.joe@epa.gov