The Trade and Investment Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa, 55456-55457 [2011-22804]

Download as PDF 55456 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2011 / Notices Form Number: 912. Annual Responses: 142,000. Annual Burden: 35,500. Jacqueline White, Chief, Administrative Information Branch. [FR Doc. 2011–22721 Filed 9–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE The Trade and Investment Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Request for comments. AGENCY: In his May 19, 2011, speech on recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the President called for a Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative to explore ways to further strengthen economic ties both between the United States and MENA countries and among the MENA countries themselves. Over the coming months, the United States, partnering where possible with the European Union and other key countries and entities, will launch a series of initiatives to facilitate more robust trade within the region and promote greater MENA integration with U.S. and other markets. To ensure that a wide range of priorities and concerns are addressed, U.S. Government officials will continue to reach out to business, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), academia and other stakeholders in order to elicit ideas for shaping future economic engagement with this critical region. As part of this process, the U.S. Government welcomes written input from members of the public on ideas for deepening economic ties with and among MENA countries. DATES: Written comments should be submitted no later than October 15, 2011. Submissions: To facilitate expeditious handling, the public is strongly encouraged to submit documents electronically via http:// www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR–2011–xxxx. Submissions should contain the term ‘‘2011 Middle East and North Africa Trade’’ in the ‘‘Type comment & Upload file:’’ field on http://www.regulations.gov. To find the docket, enter the docket number in the ‘‘Enter Keyword or ID’’ window at the http:// www.regulations.gov home page and click ‘‘Search.’’ The site will provide a emcdonald on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:37 Sep 06, 2011 Jkt 223001 search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice by selecting ‘‘Notices’’ under ‘‘Document Type’’ on the search-results page, and click on the link entitled ‘‘Submit a Comment.’’ (For further information on using the http:www.regulations.gov Web site, please consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on the ‘‘Help’’ tab.) The http:// www.regulations.gov Web site provides the option of making submissions by filling in a comments field, or by attaching a document. USTR prefers submissions to be provided in an attached document. USTR prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). If the submission is in an application other than those two, please indicate the name of the application in the ‘‘Comments’’ field. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sonia Franceski, Director for Middle East Affairs, (202) 395–4987, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508. Background The relationship between the United States and countries of the Middle East and North Africa is built upon some of the most important geostrategic and economic links in the world. In order to further reinforce cooperation with, and expand economic ties to, a part of the world undergoing profound change, the President on May 19 called for the launch of a Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative for the MENA region to: (1) Facilitate more trade within the region, (2) build on existing agreements to promote integration with U.S. and European markets, and (3) open the door for those countries that adopt high standards of reform and trade liberalization to construct a regional trade arrangement. Fostering greater trade and more open economic policies continue to represent positive opportunities for U.S. engagement with the region. With a growing population of over 400 million, an expanding regional GDP topping $2.4 trillion, and $1 trillion in various sovereign investment funds, the nations of the MENA region continue to offer significant potential opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors. Collectively, MENA countries in 2010 ranked as the fifth largest destination for U.S. exports, with a total of $60 billion. Although economic activity in significant parts of the region is still dominated by energy industries, this is by no means universal. Governments in many countries are striving to provide PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 greater job opportunities for predominantly young workforces and (where appropriate) diversify their economies to offset oil/gas price volatility. The U.S. strategy for encouraging a more open business climate in the MENA region will consist of a series of building blocks, in which the United States attempts to consolidate gains already achieved, to launch new efforts, where possible, to foster the adoption of modern open market policies, and to stimulate greater regional cooperation. As it pursues this strategy, the United States will seek to intensify its engagement with the EU and other key countries with the aim of reducing or eliminating barriers to trade and investment among MENA countries, and between MENA and developed country markets. The U.S. Government welcomes concrete ideas from interested stakeholders for specific government actions that can enhance economic integration within the MENA region and increase trade and investment, both with—and within—the MENA region. Such ideas can build on efforts already underway and may cover a broad range of barriers and sectors. Ideally they would identify priorities both for the near and longer term. Based on experience to date, and without suggesting any limitations, the United States has identified the following general areas of focus: (a) Technical barriers to trade in goods: reinforcing efforts to eliminate or substantially lower, where possible, remaining barriers; (b) Services: aiming to substantially improve opportunities for services providers (both large and small) and facilitate services trade and investment in the region across a wide range of sectors; (c) Agriculture: strengthening regulatory cooperation in the field of human, plant and animal health issues, including biotechnology, while recognizing the importance of continuing to improve our respective regulatory processes and of improving our scientific cooperation; (d) Trade Facilitation: improving trans-border shipment of goods by increasing the certainty of how goods will be processed at the border; (e) Investment: exploring practical solutions through changes in domestic law, policies, or practices that could help boost confidence in the rule of law and local institutions in the region and stimulate further inward investment across a wide range of sectors; (f) Intellectual property: improving IPR protection and reducing costs; E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2011 / Notices (g) Transparency: enhancing and promoting public participation in economic policy formulation; and (h) SMEs: improving support systems and access to export opportunities. L. Daniel Mullaney, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East. [FR Doc. 2011–22804 Filed 9–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3190–W1–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary [DOT–OST–2011–0165] Notice of Rights and Protections Available Under the Federal Antidiscrimination and Whistleblower Protection Laws Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary. ACTION: No FEAR Act Notice. AGENCY: This Notice implements Title II of the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No Fear Act of 2002). It is the annual obligation for Federal agencies to notify all employees, former employees, and applicants for Federal employment of the rights and protections available to them under the Federal Anti-discrimination and Whistleblower Protection Laws. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caffin Gordon, Associate Director of Policy and Quality Control Division, S– 35, Departmental Office of Civil Rights, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W78–312, Washington, DC 20590, 202–366–4648 or by e-mail at caffin.gordon@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: emcdonald on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Electronic Access You may retrieve this document online through the Federal Document Management System at http:// www.regulations.gov. Electronic retrieval instructions are available under the help section of the Web site. An electronic copy is also available for download from the Government Printing Office’s Electronic Bulletin Board at http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and the Government Printing Office’s Web page at http://www.access.gpo.gov/ nara. 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Antidiscrimination Laws A Federal agency cannot discriminate against an employee or applicant with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or political affiliation. Discrimination on these bases is prohibited by one or more of the following statutes: 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(1), 29 U.S.C. 631, 29 U.S.C. 633a, 29 U.S.C. 206(d), 29 U.S.C. 791, and 42 U.S.C. 2000e–16. If you believe you were a victim of unlawful discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and/or disability, you must contact an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action, or in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the action to try and resolve the matter informally. This must be done before filing a formal complaint of discrimination with USDOT (See, e.g., 29 CFR part 1614). 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Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 173 (Wednesday, September 7, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55456-55457]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22804]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE


The Trade and Investment Partnership for the Middle East and 
North Africa

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: In his May 19, 2011, speech on recent developments in the 
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the President called for a 
Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative to explore ways to further 
strengthen economic ties both between the United States and MENA 
countries and among the MENA countries themselves. Over the coming 
months, the United States, partnering where possible with the European 
Union and other key countries and entities, will launch a series of 
initiatives to facilitate more robust trade within the region and 
promote greater MENA integration with U.S. and other markets.
    To ensure that a wide range of priorities and concerns are 
addressed, U.S. Government officials will continue to reach out to 
business, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and other 
stakeholders in order to elicit ideas for shaping future economic 
engagement with this critical region.
    As part of this process, the U.S. Government welcomes written input 
from members of the public on ideas for deepening economic ties with 
and among MENA countries.

DATES: Written comments should be submitted no later than October 15, 
2011.
    Submissions: To facilitate expeditious handling, the public is 
strongly encouraged to submit documents electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2011-xxxx. Submissions should 
contain the term ``2011 Middle East and North Africa Trade'' in the 
``Type comment & Upload file:'' field on http://www.regulations.gov.
    To find the docket, enter the docket number in the ``Enter Keyword 
or ID'' window at the http://www.regulations.gov home page and click 
``Search.'' The site will provide a search-results page listing all 
documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice 
by selecting ``Notices'' under ``Document Type'' on the search-results 
page, and click on the link entitled ``Submit a Comment.'' (For further 
information on using the http:www.regulations.gov Web site, please 
consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on the 
``Help'' tab.) The http://www.regulations.gov Web site provides the 
option of making submissions by filling in a comments field, or by 
attaching a document. USTR prefers submissions to be provided in an 
attached document. USTR prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc) or 
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). If the submission is in an application other than 
those two, please indicate the name of the application in the 
``Comments'' field.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sonia Franceski, Director for Middle 
East Affairs, (202) 395-4987, Office of the United States Trade 
Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508.

Background

    The relationship between the United States and countries of the 
Middle East and North Africa is built upon some of the most important 
geostrategic and economic links in the world. In order to further 
reinforce cooperation with, and expand economic ties to, a part of the 
world undergoing profound change, the President on May 19 called for 
the launch of a Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative for the 
MENA region to: (1) Facilitate more trade within the region, (2) build 
on existing agreements to promote integration with U.S. and European 
markets, and (3) open the door for those countries that adopt high 
standards of reform and trade liberalization to construct a regional 
trade arrangement.
    Fostering greater trade and more open economic policies continue to 
represent positive opportunities for U.S. engagement with the region. 
With a growing population of over 400 million, an expanding regional 
GDP topping $2.4 trillion, and $1 trillion in various sovereign 
investment funds, the nations of the MENA region continue to offer 
significant potential opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors. 
Collectively, MENA countries in 2010 ranked as the fifth largest 
destination for U.S. exports, with a total of $60 billion. Although 
economic activity in significant parts of the region is still dominated 
by energy industries, this is by no means universal. Governments in 
many countries are striving to provide greater job opportunities for 
predominantly young workforces and (where appropriate) diversify their 
economies to offset oil/gas price volatility.
    The U.S. strategy for encouraging a more open business climate in 
the MENA region will consist of a series of building blocks, in which 
the United States attempts to consolidate gains already achieved, to 
launch new efforts, where possible, to foster the adoption of modern 
open market policies, and to stimulate greater regional cooperation.
    As it pursues this strategy, the United States will seek to 
intensify its engagement with the EU and other key countries with the 
aim of reducing or eliminating barriers to trade and investment among 
MENA countries, and between MENA and developed country markets.
    The U.S. Government welcomes concrete ideas from interested 
stakeholders for specific government actions that can enhance economic 
integration within the MENA region and increase trade and investment, 
both with--and within--the MENA region. Such ideas can build on efforts 
already underway and may cover a broad range of barriers and sectors. 
Ideally they would identify priorities both for the near and longer 
term. Based on experience to date, and without suggesting any 
limitations, the United States has identified the following general 
areas of focus:
    (a) Technical barriers to trade in goods: reinforcing efforts to 
eliminate or substantially lower, where possible, remaining barriers;
    (b) Services: aiming to substantially improve opportunities for 
services providers (both large and small) and facilitate services trade 
and investment in the region across a wide range of sectors;
    (c) Agriculture: strengthening regulatory cooperation in the field 
of human, plant and animal health issues, including biotechnology, 
while recognizing the importance of continuing to improve our 
respective regulatory processes and of improving our scientific 
cooperation;
    (d) Trade Facilitation: improving trans-border shipment of goods by 
increasing the certainty of how goods will be processed at the border;
    (e) Investment: exploring practical solutions through changes in 
domestic law, policies, or practices that could help boost confidence 
in the rule of law and local institutions in the region and stimulate 
further inward investment across a wide range of sectors;
    (f) Intellectual property: improving IPR protection and reducing 
costs;

[[Page 55457]]

    (g) Transparency: enhancing and promoting public participation in 
economic policy formulation; and
    (h) SMEs: improving support systems and access to export 
opportunities.

L. Daniel Mullaney,
Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle 
East.
[FR Doc. 2011-22804 Filed 9-6-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-W1-P