Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 16, 1999


Today, Vice President Gore and I are taking two important steps to ensure that our efforts to expand trade reflect our strong commitment to promoting environmental protection worldwide. America has proved time and again that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. The new steps I am announcing today will help ensure that we and other nations do our utmost to protect our environment as we work together to build a growing, prosperous global economy.

First, I have signed Executive Order requiring careful assessment and written review of the potential environmental impacts of major trade agreements. These reviews, with full opportunity for public input, will better enable us to fully integrate environmental considerations into the development of U.S. positions in trade negotiations.

Second, I am issuing a declaration of principles on trade and environment to guide our negotiators in the new round of World Trade Organization negotiations that will begin later this month in Seattle. Through these principles, we will seek to ensure that trade rules continue to be support of environmental protections at home and abroad.

I urge other WTO members to work with us to advance these principles when we meet in Seattle.

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