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U.S. and Republic of Korea Trade Agreement and Collaboration to Address Marine Debris

MAY 20, 2019 — On May 13, the Marine Debris Program staff, Steve Morrison, participated in a meeting between the United States government (USG) and government officials from the Republic of Korea (ROK), led by their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss US/ROK collaborative work under the Korea/US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).

Group of Men seated at a table.
Officials from the Republic of Korea meet with the US delegation. Image credit: NOAA.

At the meeting, the governments negotiated and finalized a formal work program pursuant to the KORUS Environmental Cooperation Agreement, that identifies goals and activities to jointly pursue from 2019-2022.

Steve presented on the Marine Debris Program and NOAA’s plans to address marine debris internationally. The US and ROK agreed to include an activity in the work plan to collaborate to enhance marine debris reduction actions with governments in Southeast Asia, which are some of the major source countries of marine plastic waste. The US delegation was led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Dougherty of State Department’s Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues, and included officials from the US Trade Representative’s Office, NASA, EPA, NPS and NOAA. The 2018 Save Our Seas Act recommended that the USG consider the issue of marine debris in all trade agreements.

For more information, contact Steve.Morrison@noaa.gov.

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