Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 23, 2012

Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats and Republic of Korea Ambassador to the United States Han Duk-soo today signed, on behalf of their respective governments, the United States-Korea Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA).

The United States and Korea negotiated the ECA in parallel with the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was approved by the two countries in 2011. The ECA specifies areas where the United States and the Republic Korea will cooperate on environmental protection, ensuring that the Free Trade Agreement does not result in environmental degradation, but rather includes protections to improve overall environmental quality and cooperation.

The United States and the Republic of Korea worked together to create an agreement that would reflect the interests of both countries. Now the two countries will work together to create an environmental work plan. This plan will outline specific objectives and goals for cooperation between the two countries.

The United States has environmental cooperation mechanisms with 17 of our free trade agreement (FTA) partner countries. Under these mechanisms, the United States has worked together with its partners to ensure a level playing field by strengthening environmental laws and enforcement, promoting green economies, facilitating cleaner production and increasing public participation.

Together with the Environment Chapter of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement the ECA will strengthen the ties between the United States and the Republic of Korea by creating new opportunities for environmental cooperation.

The United States and the Republic of Korea look forward to continued cooperation under the ECA.

PRN: 2012/105