U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in what he called an “unprecedented enforcement action,” today directed Customs and Border Protection to block timber imports from a Peruvian exporter the U.S. says engaged in illegal harvesting practices.
[Isabelle Hoagland | October 19, 2017 | Inside US Trade]
By invoking a never-before used timber verification provision in the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, Lighthizer took the action against Peru-based Inversiones Oroza after Peru found the company engaged in illegal logging activities.
The Forest Sector Governance Annex mechanism, included in the environment chapter of the agreement, outlines requirements for Peru to conduct audits of timber producers and verifications of Peruvian wood shipments upon request from the U.S..
“This unprecedented enforcement action demonstrates President Trump’s strong commitment to enforcing our trade agreements and ensuring that trade is fair to the American people,” Lighthizer said in an Oct. 19 statement. “Illegal logging destroys the environment and undermines U.S. timber companies and American workers who are following the rules. We will continue to closely monitor Peru’s compliance with its obligations under our trade agreement.”