US Department of StateWASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Robert D. Hormats and Administrator Zhao Shucong of the Chinese State Forestry Administration led a historic breakout session on wildlife trafficking during the 2013 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, DC.

Experts from multiple agencies met to review our efforts to combat the global illegal trade in wildlife and identify areas for increased cooperative efforts. The United States is committed to working with China to address this global challenge.

In recognition of the economic and security consequences of burgeoning illicit trade networks, the two nations committed to pursue more effective mechanisms for cooperation; strengthen enforcement at the national, regional and global level, including enhanced cooperation among law enforcement agencies; efforts to eliminate the supply and demand for illegal wildlife products; the development of innovative technologies to advance such efforts; and strengthening international cooperation in wildlife conservation and protection.

Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar illicit trade that undermines security, economic development, health, and the rule of law across the globe. The United States and China are major destinations for trafficked wildlife products.

The United States has been leading an international effort to halt wildlife trafficking. On July 1, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a Presidential Task Force and calling for a National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking.