The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the initiation of an environmental review of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (T-TIP), a free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. The notice, published on July 2, 2014, requests written comments from the public on the scope of the environmental review. Comments must be submitted by September 2, 2014.

On March 20, 2013, the USTR notified Congress of the President’s intent to enter into T-TIP negotiations. Since that time, there have been five rounds of trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. The environmental review announced last week will be conducted by the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), an interagency committee chaired by the USTR and composed of 19 federal agencies and offices. The goal of environmental reviews is to identify and incorporate environmental issues and concerns into the trade negotiation process. The reviews aim to inform policymakers and the public about potential environmental effects of trade agreements, assist in the formulation of responses to these effects, and identify common trade and environmental objectives.

Parties wishing to submit written comments on the T-TIP environmental review should identify the issues that they wish to have included in the review. Comments should include possible positive or negative environmental impacts from T-TIP and possible implications for US environmental law and regulations. Parties should also provide their views on appropriate methodologies and data sources for conducting the review.