The United States and six members of the Organization of American States have signed new agreements on trade and the environment.

The agreements are aimed at strengthening environmental protection and creating a Secretariat for Environmental Matters to help implement the environmental provisions of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

The accords were signed in Washington D.C. Friday by senior representatives of the governments of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the United States.