USA: fisheries subsidies at the latest WTO Review of US Trade Policy (2)

Here is another question put to the US in the context of the Trade Policy Review that mentions fisheries subsidies. The question was asked by SINGAPORE and it concerned the composition of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC).

As you can see fish subsidies negotiations are high on the agenda of the work of this Committee.


Question 7

The U.S. in its Government’s Report (WT/TPR/G/235, Page 16, Para 61), has indicated that “members of the five policy advisory committees are appointed by USTR or in conjunction with other Cabinet officers”. The environment policy advisory committee is called the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC) and is managed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).

Singapore would like to enquire on the membership composition of the TEPAC, how regularly meetings are convened and its current priority issues of interest. In addition, we would like to seek the U.S.’ clarification if classified/privileged information about the U.S.’ FTA partners is divulged to these private sector advisors.

RESPONSE: The TEPAC is comprised of senior level representatives from the business sector, environment and consumer non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and think tanks. TEPAC ’s full membership can be found on USTR’s website. The TEPAC meets several times a year at a senior level and more frequently at a staff-level, where TEPAC members’ liaisons participate. TEPAC has broad interests, and most recently some of its priority areas of interest have been the WTO fish subsidies negotiations, trade and climate change, and the TPP negotiations. All TEPAC members are required to have a security clearance so that relevant classified/privileged information can be shared with them under agreed procedures.

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