Trans-Pacific Partnership Falls Short for Wildlife

Press Contact: Haley McKey, 202-772-0247,

Washington (November 5, 2015)– The New Zealand government has released the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade agreement made among twelve Pacific Rim nations including the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. The text reveals the final results of years of secretive negotiations, tackling a wide range of issues from intellectual property to environmental protection. However, the environment chapter of the agreement falls far short of the desperately-needed policy changes that would make a real difference for the world’s wildlife and their vanishing habitat.

The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife:

“Now that the text of the Trans-Pacific-Partnership is available to the public, it is disappointingly clear that this is not the tougher language we had hoped for. The environment chapter is weak and fails to provide the necessary requirements and stronger penalties desperately needed to better fight poaching, protect wildlife habitat and shut down the illegal wildlife trade. The agreement also leaves our own domestic environmental laws vulnerable to legal challenge internationally, outside of our own judiciary system. 

“Most alarmingly, climate change isn’t mentioned a single time in the environment chapter. It is ridiculous that in 2015, twelve of the world’s nations would construct a trade deal of this magnitude and not even consider the effects of climate change on industries like agriculture or fishing, or ways to prevent worsening global warming through our own economic activities. Climate change is happening right now: Species are disappearing and extreme weather events like hurricanes, crippling drought and wildfires are become more prevalent across the world. Yet this trade agreement won’t even acknowledge it.

“Although presented as a groundbreaking trade agreement in regards to wildlife, the Trans-Pacific Partnership includes no commitments not already present in existing international and regional agreements for regulating wildlife trade or preventing wildlife trafficking. It includes no provisions for fighting climate change. We urge Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership and call for a plan that would actually make a difference for wildlife and our natural heritage.”

# # #

Get the latest Defenders news on Twitter @defendersnews.

Past press statements are available in our newsroom and be sure to visit our multimedia library andreporter resources pages for more info, including free-use photos.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit

You may also be interested in:

The latest articles about wildlife issues that may be of interest to those in the press.
The latest opinions about wildlife issues that may be of interest to those in the press.
Images for reporters to use for Defenders' articles.