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Wildlife Trade to Be Addressed by U.S. in Asia Trade Pact

The U.S. is seeking to use talks toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 nations in the Asia-Pacific region to damp demand in the multi-billion dollar black market for wildlife products.

The federal government is pushing to have the potential accord’s environmental chapter “go beyond anything we’ve done before in a trade agreement, in terms of having a chapter on conservation issues, such as illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illegal fishing,” U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman told reporters today in New York.

The issues are “particularly relevant to the Asia-Pacific region,” he said at a news conference at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Asia’s economy is forecasted to grow 6.12 percent this year, compared with 2.2 percent for the U.S.

One poached elephant is valued at $18,000, Paul Chapelle, resident agent-in-charge of New York for the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service, said at the news conference. As much as $10 billion is reaped annually through wildlife and forest crime, Yury Fedotov, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said May 13 in Vienna.

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