United States and China Discuss Wildlife Trafficking and Ivory Ban at the Eighth U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 8, 2016

The United States and China discussed efforts to combat wildlife trafficking during the eighth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Beijing June 6-7, 2016. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Judith G. Garber and Vice Minister Chen Fengxue of China’s State Forestry Administration led the U.S. and Chinese delegations in a breakout session on wildlife trafficking, the fourth year in a row this critical issue was discussed in a special bilateral dialogue at the S&ED.

Acting Assistant Secretary Garber highlighted the June 2 publication of new U.S. regulations that – when combined with existing regulations – impose a nearly complete ban on the trade of African elephant ivory, an important step to saving this iconic species.

The breakout session at this year’s S&ED followed the September 2015 meeting of President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China in Washington, D.C., during which both leaders recognized the urgency of combating wildlife trafficking and committed the United States and China to take positive measures to address this global challenge. President Obama and President Xi agreed to enact “nearly complete bans on ivory import and export, including significant and timely restrictions on the import of ivory as hunting trophies, and to take significant and timely steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory.” At this year’s S&ED, both countries expressed their intentions to continue the fight against wildlife trafficking.

For press inquiries, please contact Sara Ferchichi at FerchichiSM@state.gov. For updates, please follow the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs on Twitter @StateDeptOES.