Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of Reviews and Request for Public Comments, 45079-45080 [E6-12870]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 8, 2006 / Notices contact the Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20555 (301–415–1969). In addition, distribution of this meeting notice over the Internet system is available. If you are interested in receiving this Commission meeting schedule electronically, please send an electronic message to dkw@nrc.gov. Dated: August 3, 2006. R. Michelle Schroll, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 06–6786 Filed 8–4–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–M OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of Reviews and Request for Public Comments Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Initiation of Reviews and Request for Comments on the Eligibility of Certain GSP Beneficiaries and Existing Competitive Need Limitation (CNL) Waivers. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: Legislation authorizing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program expires on December 31, 2006. In connection with Congress’ consideration of reauthorization of the program, the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) requested public comments on October 6, 2005, relating to whether the Administration’s operation of the program should be changed so that benefits are not focused on trade from a few countries and that developing countries that traditionally have not been major traders under the program receive benefits. Based on information obtained thus far, the TPSC has decided to initiate a further review and request additional comments to determine whether major beneficiaries of the program have expanded exports or have progressed in their economic development within the meaning of the statute to the extent that their eligibility should be limited, suspended, or withdrawn, pursuant to section 502(d) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)). For the purpose of identifying beneficiary countries that are subject to this review and on which we are seeking comments, the TPSC looked at a country’s total volume of trade under the GSP program, the World Bank’s classification of the country’s level of income, and the country’s share of world goods exports. The TPSC is also conducting a review of existing competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers and requesting comments on VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:06 Aug 07, 2006 Jkt 208001 whether any waivers should be terminated, pursuant to section 503(d)(5) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(5)), because they are no longer warranted due to changed circumstances. All public comments must be received by September 5, 2006. ADDRESSES: Submit comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: FR0052@USTR.EOP.GOV. For assistance or if unable to submit comments by e-mail, contact the GSP Subcommittee, Office of the United States Trade Representative; USTR Annex, Room F–220; 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508 (Tel. 202– 395–6971). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the GSP Subcommittee, Office of the United States Trade Representative; USTR Annex, Room F– 220; 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508 (Telephone: 202–395–6971, Facsimile: 202–395–9481). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The GSP Subcommittee is seeking written comments on whether to limit, suspend, or withdraw the eligibility of those GSP beneficiary countries for which the total value of U.S. imports under GSP exceeded $100 million in 2005, and (a) which the World Bank classified as an upper-middle-income economy in 2005; or (b) that accounted for more than 0.25 percent of world goods exports in 2005, as reported by the World Trade Organization. Thus, the TPSC is seeking comments on the eligibility status of the following GSP beneficiary developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela. The TPSC is also seeking comments on whether any of the 83 existing competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers are no longer warranted due to changed circumstances. Country Eligibility Review The GSP statute authorizes the President to withdraw, suspend, or limit the application of duty-free treatment with respect to any country based on statutory eligibility criteria. See section 502(d) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)). These criteria include: (1) The effect such action will have on furthering the economic development of developing countries through the expansion of their exports; (2) the extent of the beneficiary developing country’s competitiveness with respect to eligible articles; and (3) a country’s level of economic development, including its per capita gross national product, the living standards of its inhabitants, and any other economic factors which the PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45079 President deems appropriate. The GSP Subcommittee is seeking comments on whether the eligibility of any of these beneficiaries should be limited, suspended, or withdrawn based on the statutory eligibility criteria enumerated in sections 501(1) and (4) and section 502(c)(2) of the Act. CNL Waiver Review Section 503(c)(2)(A) of the Act sets out the two competitive need limitations (CNLs) applicable to eligible articles from beneficiary developing countries (other than sub-Saharan African and least-developed beneficiaries). When the President determines that a beneficiary developing country exported to the United States during a calendar year either (1) A quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value in excess of the applicable amount for that year ($120 million for 2005), or (2) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value equal to or greater than 50 percent of the value of total U.S. imports of the article from all countries (the ‘‘50 percent CNL’’), the President must terminate GSP duty-free treatment for that article from that beneficiary developing country by no later than July 1 of the next calendar year. Under section 503(d) of the 1974 Act, the President may waive the application of section 503(c)(2) if the President (1) Receives the advice of the International Trade Commission (ITC) on whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by such waiver; (2) determines, based on the considerations in section 501 and 502(c) of the Act and the advice of the ITC that such waiver is in the national economic interest of the United States; and (3) publishes the determination in the Federal Register. CNL waivers were first authorized by Congress in 1984. Nineteen GSP beneficiaries currently benefit from 83 CNL waivers. Under section 503(d)(5) of the Act, a waiver may be terminated if the President determines that it is no longer warranted due to changed circumstances. The GSP Subcommittee is seeking comments on whether any of the 83 existing waivers should be terminated pursuant to this provision of the statute. For a list of existing CNL waivers, see ‘‘CNL Waivers’’, http:// www.ustr.gov/TradelDevelopment/ PreferencelPrograms/GSP/ SectionlIndex.html. Requirements for Submission In order to facilitate prompt processing of submissions, USTR strongly urges and prefers electronic e-mail submissions only in response to E:\FR\FM\08AUN1.SGM 08AUN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 45080 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 8, 2006 / Notices this notice. Hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted. These submissions should be single-copy transmissions in English with the total submission, including attachments, not to exceed 30 single-spaced standard letter-size pages using 12-point font. E-mail submissions should use the following subject line: ‘‘2006 GSP Eligibility and CNL Waiver Review’’. Comments on CNL waivers should include the 8-digit tariff number of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Documents must be submitted in English in one of the following formats: MSWord (.DOC), WordPerfect (.WPD), or text (.TXT) files. Documents may not be submitted as electronic image files or contain imbedded images (for example, ‘‘.JPG’’, ‘‘.TIF’’, ‘‘.PDF’’, ‘‘.BMP’’, or ‘‘.GIF’’). Supporting documentation submitted as spreadsheets are acceptable as Excel files, formatted for printing on 81⁄2 × 11 inch paper. To the extent possible, any data attachments to the submission should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files. If the submission contains business confidential information, a nonconfidential version of the submission must also be submitted that indicates where confidential information was redacted by inserting asterisks where material was deleted. In addition, the confidential submission must be clearly marked ‘‘Business Confidential’’ at the top and bottom of each page of the document. The non-confidential version must also be clearly marked at the top and bottom of each page (either ‘‘Public Version’’ or ‘‘Non-Confidential’’). Documents that are submitted without any marking will be considered public documents. For any document containing business confidential information submitted as an electronic attached file to an e-mail transmission, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters ‘‘BC-’’, and the file name of the public version should begin with the characters ‘‘P-’’. The ‘‘ P-’’ or ‘‘BC-’’ should be followed by the name of the party (government, company, union, association, etc.) making the submission. E-mail submissions should not include separate cover letters or messages in the message area of the e-mail; information that might appear in any cover letter should be included directly in the attached file containing the submission itself, including the sender’s e-mail address and other identifying information. The e-mail address for these submissions is FR0052@USTR.EOP.GOV. Documents VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:06 Aug 07, 2006 Jkt 208001 not submitted in accordance with these instructions might not be considered in this review. If unable to provide submissions by e-mail, please contact the GSP Subcommittee to arrange for an alternative method of transmission. Public versions of all documents relating to this review will be available for review approximately two weeks after the due date by appointment in the USTR public reading room, 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC. Appointments may be made from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (202) 395–6186. Marideth J. Sandler, Executive Director for the GSP Program, Chairman, GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee. [FR Doc. E6–12870 Filed 8–7–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3190–W6–P OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Request for Public Comments on the Possible Withdrawal or Suspension of GSP Benefits With Respect to Romania Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice and solicitation of public comment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: As part of an ongoing country practice review, the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is considering whether to recommend that duty-free treatment accorded to imports from Romania under the U.S. GSP program be withdrawn or suspended on the grounds that Romania affords preferential treatment to the products of a developed country, other than the United States, which has, or is likely to have, a significant adverse effect on United States commerce. In addition, Romania adopted Veterinary Order 95 which includes requirements that: (1) Individual U.S. poultry plants must be approved for export to the EU; and (2) U.S. poultry producers must abide by EU welfare rules for slaughter. There are no EU-approved poultry facilities in the United States. The GSP Subcommittee is seeking public comments on whether, in view of the information provided in the petition, implementation of this new measure, and any additional information pertaining to the eligibility criteria set forth in the statute, Romania no longer meets one or more statutory criteria for GSP eligibility. All public PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 comments must be received by Thursday, September 7, 2006. ADDRESSES: Submit comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: FR0618@ustr.eop.gov. For assistance or if unable to submit comments by e-mail, contact the GSP Subcommittee, Office of the United States Trade Representative; USTR Annex, Room F–220; 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508 (Tel. 202–395–6971). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the GSP Subcommittee, Office of the United States Trade Representative; USTR Annex, Room F– 220; 1724 F Street, NW.; Washington, DC 20508 (Telephone: 202–395–6971, Facsimile: 202–395–9481). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The GSP program is authorized pursuant to Title V of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (‘‘the Trade Act’’) (19 U.S.C. 2461 et seq.). The GSP program grants duty-free treatment to designated eligible articles that are imported from designated beneficiary developing countries. Once granted, GSP benefits may be withdrawn, suspended, or limited by the President with respect to any country. (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)(1)). Romania is a designated beneficiary developing country under the GSP program. Possible Withdrawal or Suspension of GSP Benefits for Romania In 2002, the GSP Subcommittee received a petition from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) requesting that Romania’s eligibility for GSP benefits be terminated because Romania granted tariff preferences to EU distilled spirits and certain pharmaceuticals which have, or are likely to have, a significant adverse effect on United States commerce. These petitions were accepted for review in the 2005 Annual Review. On June 2, 2006, Romania adopted Veterinary Order 95. This Order affects all poultry meat shipments loaded for shipment to Romania after June 7, 2006, and includes requirements that: (1) Individual U.S. poultry plants must be approved for export to the EU; and (2) U.S. poultry producers must abide by EU welfare rules for slaughter. Romania will allow poultry certified under previous regulations until August 5, 2006. Requirements for Submissions All submissions must conform to the GSP regulations set forth at 15 CFR Part 2007, except as modified below. Comments must be submitted, in English, to the Chairman of the GSP E:\FR\FM\08AUN1.SGM 08AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 152 (Tuesday, August 8, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45079-45080]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-12870]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE


Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of Reviews 
and Request for Public Comments

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Initiation of Reviews and Request for Comments on the 
Eligibility of Certain GSP Beneficiaries and Existing Competitive Need 
Limitation (CNL) Waivers.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Legislation authorizing the Generalized System of Preferences 
(GSP) program expires on December 31, 2006. In connection with 
Congress' consideration of reauthorization of the program, the Trade 
Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) requested public comments on October 6, 
2005, relating to whether the Administration's operation of the program 
should be changed so that benefits are not focused on trade from a few 
countries and that developing countries that traditionally have not 
been major traders under the program receive benefits. Based on 
information obtained thus far, the TPSC has decided to initiate a 
further review and request additional comments to determine whether 
major beneficiaries of the program have expanded exports or have 
progressed in their economic development within the meaning of the 
statute to the extent that their eligibility should be limited, 
suspended, or withdrawn, pursuant to section 502(d) of the Trade Act of 
1974 (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)). For the purpose of identifying beneficiary 
countries that are subject to this review and on which we are seeking 
comments, the TPSC looked at a country's total volume of trade under 
the GSP program, the World Bank's classification of the country's level 
of income, and the country's share of world goods exports. The TPSC is 
also conducting a review of existing competitive need limitation (CNL) 
waivers and requesting comments on whether any waivers should be 
terminated, pursuant to section 503(d)(5) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 
2463(d)(5)), because they are no longer warranted due to changed 
circumstances. All public comments must be received by September 5, 
2006.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
FR0052@USTR.EOP.GOV. For assistance or if unable to submit comments by 
e-mail, contact the GSP Subcommittee, Office of the United States Trade 
Representative; USTR Annex, Room F-220; 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, 
DC 20508 (Tel. 202-395-6971).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the GSP Subcommittee, Office 
of the United States Trade Representative; USTR Annex, Room F-220; 1724 
F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508 (Telephone: 202-395-6971, 
Facsimile: 202-395-9481).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The GSP Subcommittee is seeking written 
comments on whether to limit, suspend, or withdraw the eligibility of 
those GSP beneficiary countries for which the total value of U.S. 
imports under GSP exceeded $100 million in 2005, and (a) which the 
World Bank classified as an upper-middle-income economy in 2005; or (b) 
that accounted for more than 0.25 percent of world goods exports in 
2005, as reported by the World Trade Organization. Thus, the TPSC is 
seeking comments on the eligibility status of the following GSP 
beneficiary developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, India, 
Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, 
Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela. The TPSC is also seeking comments on 
whether any of the 83 existing competitive need limitation (CNL) 
waivers are no longer warranted due to changed circumstances.

Country Eligibility Review

    The GSP statute authorizes the President to withdraw, suspend, or 
limit the application of duty-free treatment with respect to any 
country based on statutory eligibility criteria. See section 502(d) of 
the Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)). These criteria include: (1) The effect 
such action will have on furthering the economic development of 
developing countries through the expansion of their exports; (2) the 
extent of the beneficiary developing country's competitiveness with 
respect to eligible articles; and (3) a country's level of economic 
development, including its per capita gross national product, the 
living standards of its inhabitants, and any other economic factors 
which the President deems appropriate. The GSP Subcommittee is seeking 
comments on whether the eligibility of any of these beneficiaries 
should be limited, suspended, or withdrawn based on the statutory 
eligibility criteria enumerated in sections 501(1) and (4) and section 
502(c)(2) of the Act.

CNL Waiver Review

    Section 503(c)(2)(A) of the Act sets out the two competitive need 
limitations (CNLs) applicable to eligible articles from beneficiary 
developing countries (other than sub-Saharan African and least-
developed beneficiaries). When the President determines that a 
beneficiary developing country exported to the United States during a 
calendar year either (1) A quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a 
value in excess of the applicable amount for that year ($120 million 
for 2005), or (2) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value 
equal to or greater than 50 percent of the value of total U.S. imports 
of the article from all countries (the ``50 percent CNL''), the 
President must terminate GSP duty-free treatment for that article from 
that beneficiary developing country by no later than July 1 of the next 
calendar year.
    Under section 503(d) of the 1974 Act, the President may waive the 
application of section 503(c)(2) if the President (1) Receives the 
advice of the International Trade Commission (ITC) on whether any 
industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by 
such waiver; (2) determines, based on the considerations in section 501 
and 502(c) of the Act and the advice of the ITC that such waiver is in 
the national economic interest of the United States; and (3) publishes 
the determination in the Federal Register. CNL waivers were first 
authorized by Congress in 1984. Nineteen GSP beneficiaries currently 
benefit from 83 CNL waivers. Under section 503(d)(5) of the Act, a 
waiver may be terminated if the President determines that it is no 
longer warranted due to changed circumstances. The GSP Subcommittee is 
seeking comments on whether any of the 83 existing waivers should be 
terminated pursuant to this provision of the statute. For a list of 
existing CNL waivers, see ``CNL Waivers'', http://www.ustr.gov/Trade_
Development/Preference_Programs/GSP/Section_Index.html.

Requirements for Submission

    In order to facilitate prompt processing of submissions, USTR 
strongly urges and prefers electronic e-mail submissions only in 
response to

[[Page 45080]]

this notice. Hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted. These 
submissions should be single-copy transmissions in English with the 
total submission, including attachments, not to exceed 30 single-spaced 
standard letter-size pages using 12-point font. E-mail submissions 
should use the following subject line: ``2006 GSP Eligibility and CNL 
Waiver Review''. Comments on CNL waivers should include the 8-digit 
tariff number of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States 
(HTSUS). Documents must be submitted in English in one of the following 
formats: MSWord (.DOC), WordPerfect (.WPD), or text (.TXT) files. 
Documents may not be submitted as electronic image files or contain 
imbedded images (for example, ``.JPG'', ``.TIF'', ``.PDF'', ``.BMP'', 
or ``.GIF''). Supporting documentation submitted as spreadsheets are 
acceptable as Excel files, formatted for printing on 8\1/2\ x 11 inch 
paper. To the extent possible, any data attachments to the submission 
should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not 
as separate files.
    If the submission contains business confidential information, a 
non-confidential version of the submission must also be submitted that 
indicates where confidential information was redacted by inserting 
asterisks where material was deleted. In addition, the confidential 
submission must be clearly marked ``Business Confidential'' at the top 
and bottom of each page of the document. The non-confidential version 
must also be clearly marked at the top and bottom of each page (either 
``Public Version'' or ``Non-Confidential''). Documents that are 
submitted without any marking will be considered public documents. For 
any document containing business confidential information submitted as 
an electronic attached file to an e-mail transmission, the file name of 
the business confidential version should begin with the characters 
``BC-'', and the file name of the public version should begin with the 
characters ``P-''. The `` P-'' or ``BC-'' should be followed by the 
name of the party (government, company, union, association, etc.) 
making the submission.
    E-mail submissions should not include separate cover letters or 
messages in the message area of the e-mail; information that might 
appear in any cover letter should be included directly in the attached 
file containing the submission itself, including the sender's e-mail 
address and other identifying information.
    The e-mail address for these submissions is FR0052@USTR.EOP.GOV. 
Documents not submitted in accordance with these instructions might not 
be considered in this review. If unable to provide submissions by e-
mail, please contact the GSP Subcommittee to arrange for an alternative 
method of transmission.
    Public versions of all documents relating to this review will be 
available for review approximately two weeks after the due date by 
appointment in the USTR public reading room, 1724 F Street, NW., 
Washington, DC. Appointments may be made from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 
p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (202) 395-6186.

Marideth J. Sandler,
Executive Director for the GSP Program, Chairman, GSP Subcommittee of 
the Trade Policy Staff Committee.
 [FR Doc. E6-12870 Filed 8-7-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-W6-P