Wildlife trafficking is an international development issue because it undermines security, rule of law, and our efforts to end extreme poverty. Protecting wildlife from poaching and illegal trafficking helps secure our global heritage and fights against the criminal networks that exploit humans and nature and thereby threaten national security and rule of law.

The United States addresses wildlife trafficking threats through the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking (END) Act of 2016 and the U.S. Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Laws with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking 2017. For over a decade, USAID has been working to counter wildlife trafficking in Asia. In August 2016, USAID launched USAID Wildlife Asia, a five-year $23 million regional initiative for ASEAN and China. This is built upon a previous USAID funded project, Asia's Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Program. USAID Wildlife Asia contributes to the U.S. Government’s expanding global portfolio for combating wildlife trafficking, which has grown from $13 million in 2012 to more than $68 million in 2015.