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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 12, 2007


United States and China Announce Cooperation on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade

The United States and China have concluded a new Memorandum of Understanding on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade. This is the first-ever commitment between the two countries to focus on addressing the devastating problem of illegal logging and the trade in illegally harvested timber. The Understanding was reached at this week's meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue.

"This joint Understanding clearly demonstrates that we and China recognize our shared responsibilities as the world's largest timber producers, consumers and traders," said Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science Claudia A. McMurray. Action under the Understanding should help conserve forests and their wildlife and reduce deforestation -- a major factor in the global effort to address climate change. Nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions results from deforestation and other land use changes.

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes a Bilateral Forum between the two countries to identify joint work promoting both sustainable forest management and trade in legally-sourced forest products, as well as encourage public-private partnerships. Through the Forum, the United States and China will pursue a more detailed bilateral agreement to be concluded at the next round of economic talks in the Spring of 2008 in Washington, DC.

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Released on December 12, 2007

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