2016 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment and Announcement of Public Hearing, 1277-1278 [2015-33278]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 6 / Monday, January 11, 2016 / Notices OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE [Docket No. USTR–2015–0022] 2016 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment and Announcement of Public Hearing Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Request for written submissions from the public and announcement of public hearing. AGENCY: Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Trade Act) requires the United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. The provisions of Section 182 are commonly referred to as the ‘‘Special 301’’ provisions of the Trade Act. The Trade Act requires the Trade Representative to determine which, if any, of these countries to identify as Priority Foreign Countries. Acts, policies, or practices that are the basis of a country’s identification as a Priority Foreign Country can be subject to the procedures set out in sections 301–305 of the Trade Act. In addition, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has created a ‘‘Priority Watch List’’ and ‘‘Watch List’’ to assist the Administration in pursuing the goals of the Special 301 provisions. Placement of a trading partner on the Priority Watch List of Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country with respect to IPR protection, enforcement or market access for persons that rely on intellectual property protection. Trading partners placed on the Priority Watch List are the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas. USTR chairs the Special 301 Subcommittee (Subcommittee) of the Trade Policy Staff Committee. The Subcommittee reviews information from many sources, and consults with and makes recommendations to the Trade Representative on issues arising under Special 301. Written submissions from the public are a key source of information for the Special 301 review process. In 2015, USTR again will conduct a public hearing as part of the review process as well as offer the opportunity, as described below, for hearing participants to provide additional information relevant to the mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 08, 2016 Jkt 238001 review. At the conclusion of the process, USTR will publish the results of the review in a ‘‘Special 301’’ Report. USTR is hereby requesting written submissions from the public concerning foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. USTR requests that interested persons provide the information described below in the ‘‘Public Comments’’ section, and identify whether a particular trading partner should be named as a Priority Foreign Country under Section 182 of the Trade Act or placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. Foreign governments that have been identified in previous Special 301 Reports or that are nominated for review in 2016 are considered interested parties, and are invited to respond to this request for public submissions. Interested persons and foreign governments wishing to submit information to be considered during the review or testify at the public hearing must adhere to the procedures and deadlines stet forth below. DATES: The schedule and deadlines for the 2016 Special 301 review are as follows: Friday, February 5, 2016 at midnight EST—Deadline for interested persons to submit written comments, notices of intent to testify at the Special 301 Public Hearing, and Hearing statements. Friday, February 19, 2016 at midnight EST—Deadline for foreign governments to submit written comments, notices of intent to testify at the Special 301 Public Hearing, and although not mandatory, any prepared hearing statements. Tuesday, March 1, 2016—Public Hearing—The Special 301 Subcommittee will hold a public hearing for interested persons, including representatives of foreign governments, at the Office of the United State Trade Representative, 1724 F Street, NW., Rooms 1&2, Washington, DC 20508. If necessary, the hearing may continue on the next business day. Please consult the USTR Web site for confirmation of the date and location and the schedule of witnesses. Friday, March 4, 2016 at midnight EST—Deadline for submitting posthearing written comments. Interested persons who testified at the public hearing may provide written comments after the hearing. To ensure consideration, comments must be received no later than Friday, March 4, 2016. Please submit additional written comments electronically via www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR–2015–0022. PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1277 On or about April 30, 2016—USTR will publish the 2016 Special 301 Report within 30 days of the publication of the National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report. ADDRESSES: All written comments, notices of intent to testify at the public hearing, hearing statements and posthearing written responses must be in English and submitted electronically via www.regulations.gov, Docket Number USTR–2015–0022. Please specify ‘‘2016 Special 301 Review’’ in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Peterson, Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation, Office of the United States Trade Representative, at Special301@ ustr.eop.gov. Information on the Special 301 Review is available at www.ustr.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Background USTR requests that interested persons identify through the process outlined in this notice those countries whose acts, policies, or practices deny adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. Section 182 further requires the Trade Representative to identify any act, policy, or practice of Canada that affects cultural industries, is adopted or expanded after December 17, 1992, and is actionable under Article 2106 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The public is invited to submit views relevant to this aspect of the review. Section 182 requires the Trade Representative to identify all such acts, policies, or practices within 30 days of the publication of the NTE Report. In accordance with this statutory requirement, USTR will publish the annual Special 301 Report on or about April 30, 2016. 2. Comments From the Public a. Requirements for Written Comments To facilitate the review, written comments should be as detailed as possible and provide all necessary information for identifying and assessing the effect of the acts, policies, and practices. USTR requests that interested parties provide specific references to laws; regulations; policy statements, including innovation policies; executive, presidential or other orders; and administrative, court or other determinations that should factor in the review. USTR also requests that, where relevant, submissions mention E:\FR\FM\11JAN1.SGM 11JAN1 1278 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 6 / Monday, January 11, 2016 / Notices may appear to provide oral testimony. If necessary, the hearing may continue on the next business day. The hearing will be open to the public. Because the hearings will be located in Federal facilities, security screening will be required. Attendees will need to show photo identification and be screened for security purposes. Please consult www.ustr.gov to confirm the date and location of the hearing and to obtain copies of the hearing schedule. USTR also will post the transcript and recording of the hearing on the USTR Web site as soon after the hearing as possible. b. Filing Instructions Comments must be in English. All comments should be sent electronically via www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR–2015–0022. To submit comments, locate the docket (folder) by entering the number USTR–2015–0022 in the ‘‘Enter Keyword or ID’’ window at the www.regulations.gov home page and click ‘‘Search.’’ The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Locate the reference to this notice by selecting ‘‘Notice’’ under ‘‘Document Type’’ on the left side of the searchresults page, and click on the link entitled ‘‘Comment Now!.’’ USTR requests that comments be provided in an attached document, and that the file be named according to the following protocol, as appropriate: Commenter Name or Organization_2016 Special 301_Review_Comment or Notice of Intent to Testify or Hearing Testimony. Please include the following information in the ‘Type Comment’’ field: ‘‘2016 Special 301 Review’’ and whether the submission is a comment, a request to testify at the Public Hearing, or Hearing testimony. Please submit documents prepared in (or compatible with) Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) formats. If the submission was prepared in a compatible format, please indicate the name of the relevant software application in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field. For further information on using the www.regulations.gov Web site, please select ‘‘How to Use Regulations.gov’’ on the bottom of any page. 3. Public Hearing mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES particular regions, provinces, states, or other subdivisions of a country in which an act, policy, or practice is believed to warrant special attention. Finally, submissions proposing countries for review should include data, loss estimates, and other information regarding the economic impact on the United States, U.S. industry and the U.S. workforce caused by the denial of adequate and effective intellectual property protection. Comments that include quantitative loss claims should be accompanied by the methodology used in calculating such estimated losses. b. Submission of Notice of Intent To Testify and Hearing Statements Prepared oral testimony before the Special 301 Subcommittee must be delivered in person, in English, and will be limited to five minutes. Subcommittee member agencies may ask questions following the prepared statement. Persons, except representatives of foreign governments, wishing to testify at the hearing must submit a ‘‘Notice of Intent to Testify’’ and ‘‘Hearing Statement’’ to www.regulations.gov (following the procedures set forth in ‘‘Filing Instructions’’ above). The filing deadline is Friday, February 5, 2016. The Notice of Intent to Testify must include the name of the witness, name of the organization (if applicable), address, telephone number, fax number, and email address. A Hearing Statement must accompany the Notice of Intent to Testify. There is no requirement regarding the length of the Hearing Statement; however, the content of the testimony must be relevant to the Special 301 Review. All representatives of foreign governments that wish to testify at the hearing must submit a ‘‘Notice of Intent to Testify’’ to www.regulations.gov (following the procedures set forth in ‘‘Filing Instructions’’ above). The Notice of Intent to Testify must be filed by Friday, February 19, 2015, and include the name of the witness, name of the organization (if applicable), address, telephone number, fax number, and email address. Although not mandatory, government witnesses may submit a Hearing Statement when filing the Notice of Intent to Testify. a. Notice of Public Hearing The Special 301 Subcommittee will hold a public hearing on March 1, 2016, at Office of the United State Trade Representative, 1724 F Street NW., Rooms 1&2, Washington, DC 20508, at which interested persons, including representatives of foreign governments, 4. Business Confidential Information A person requesting that information contained in a comment submitted by that person be treated as confidential business information must certify that such information is business confidential and would not customarily be released to the public by the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 08, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 submitter. The filenames of both documents should reflect their status— ‘‘BCI’’ for the business confidential version and ‘‘PUBLIC’’ for the public version. In the document, confidential business information must be clearly designated as such, the submission must be marked ‘‘BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL’’ at the top and bottom of the cover page and each succeeding page, and the submission should indicate, via brackets, the specific information that is confidential. Additionally, the submitter should write ‘‘Business Confidential’’ in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field. Anyone submitting a comment containing business confidential information must also submit, as a separate submission, a nonbusiness confidential version of the submission, indicating where the business confidential information has been redacted. The non-business confidential version will be placed in the docket at www.regulations.gov and be available for public inspection. 5. Inspection of Comments USTR will maintain a publicly accessible docket for the 2016 Special 301 Review. This public file will include all non-business confidential comments, notices of intent to testify, and hearing statements that USTR receives from the public, including foreign governments, in conjunction with the 2016 Special 301 Review. Comments will be placed in the docket upon receipt and be open to public inspection pursuant to 15 CFR 2006.13. Comments containing confidential business information are exempt from public inspection in accordance with 15 CFR 2006.15. However, USTR will require submission of non-business confidential versions of such documents, as described above, and will post non-business confidential versions to the public docket. Comments may be viewed at www.regulations.gov by entering docket number USTR–2015– 0022 in the search field on the home page. Probir Mehta, Acting Assistant United States Trade Representative (AUSTR) for Intellectual Property and Innovation, Office of the United States Trade Representative. [FR Doc. 2015–33278 Filed 1–8–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290–F5–P E:\FR\FM\11JAN1.SGM 11JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 6 (Monday, January 11, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1277-1278]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-33278]



[[Page 1277]]

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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

[Docket No. USTR-2015-0022]


2016 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under 
Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment and 
Announcement of Public Hearing

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Request for written submissions from the public and 
announcement of public hearing.

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

SUMMARY: Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Trade Act) requires the 
United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) to identify 
countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual 
property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. 
persons who rely on intellectual property protection. The provisions of 
Section 182 are commonly referred to as the ``Special 301'' provisions 
of the Trade Act. The Trade Act requires the Trade Representative to 
determine which, if any, of these countries to identify as Priority 
Foreign Countries. Acts, policies, or practices that are the basis of a 
country's identification as a Priority Foreign Country can be subject 
to the procedures set out in sections 301-305 of the Trade Act.
    In addition, the Office of the United States Trade Representative 
(USTR) has created a ``Priority Watch List'' and ``Watch List'' to 
assist the Administration in pursuing the goals of the Special 301 
provisions. Placement of a trading partner on the Priority Watch List 
of Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country 
with respect to IPR protection, enforcement or market access for 
persons that rely on intellectual property protection. Trading partners 
placed on the Priority Watch List are the focus of increased bilateral 
attention concerning the problem areas.
    USTR chairs the Special 301 Subcommittee (Subcommittee) of the 
Trade Policy Staff Committee. The Subcommittee reviews information from 
many sources, and consults with and makes recommendations to the Trade 
Representative on issues arising under Special 301. Written submissions 
from the public are a key source of information for the Special 301 
review process. In 2015, USTR again will conduct a public hearing as 
part of the review process as well as offer the opportunity, as 
described below, for hearing participants to provide additional 
information relevant to the review. At the conclusion of the process, 
USTR will publish the results of the review in a ``Special 301'' 
Report.
    USTR is hereby requesting written submissions from the public 
concerning foreign countries that deny adequate and effective 
protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable 
market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property 
protection. USTR requests that interested persons provide the 
information described below in the ``Public Comments'' section, and 
identify whether a particular trading partner should be named as a 
Priority Foreign Country under Section 182 of the Trade Act or placed 
on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. Foreign governments that have 
been identified in previous Special 301 Reports or that are nominated 
for review in 2016 are considered interested parties, and are invited 
to respond to this request for public submissions. Interested persons 
and foreign governments wishing to submit information to be considered 
during the review or testify at the public hearing must adhere to the 
procedures and deadlines stet forth below.

DATES: The schedule and deadlines for the 2016 Special 301 review are 
as follows:
    Friday, February 5, 2016 at midnight EST--Deadline for interested 
persons to submit written comments, notices of intent to testify at the 
Special 301 Public Hearing, and Hearing statements.
    Friday, February 19, 2016 at midnight EST--Deadline for foreign 
governments to submit written comments, notices of intent to testify at 
the Special 301 Public Hearing, and although not mandatory, any 
prepared hearing statements.
    Tuesday, March 1, 2016--Public Hearing--The Special 301 
Subcommittee will hold a public hearing for interested persons, 
including representatives of foreign governments, at the Office of the 
United State Trade Representative, 1724 F Street, NW., Rooms 1&2, 
Washington, DC 20508. If necessary, the hearing may continue on the 
next business day. Please consult the USTR Web site for confirmation of 
the date and location and the schedule of witnesses.
    Friday, March 4, 2016 at midnight EST--Deadline for submitting 
post-hearing written comments. Interested persons who testified at the 
public hearing may provide written comments after the hearing. To 
ensure consideration, comments must be received no later than Friday, 
March 4, 2016. Please submit additional written comments electronically 
via www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2015-0022.
    On or about April 30, 2016--USTR will publish the 2016 Special 301 
Report within 30 days of the publication of the National Trade Estimate 
(NTE) Report.

ADDRESSES: All written comments, notices of intent to testify at the 
public hearing, hearing statements and post-hearing written responses 
must be in English and submitted electronically via 
www.regulations.gov, Docket Number USTR-2015-0022. Please specify 
``2016 Special 301 Review'' in the ``Type Comment'' field.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Peterson, Director for 
Intellectual Property and Innovation, Office of the United States Trade 
Representative, at Special301@ustr.eop.gov. Information on the Special 
301 Review is available at www.ustr.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1. Background

    USTR requests that interested persons identify through the process 
outlined in this notice those countries whose acts, policies, or 
practices deny adequate and effective protection for intellectual 
property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. 
persons who rely on intellectual property protection.
    Section 182 further requires the Trade Representative to identify 
any act, policy, or practice of Canada that affects cultural 
industries, is adopted or expanded after December 17, 1992, and is 
actionable under Article 2106 of the North American Free Trade 
Agreement (NAFTA). The public is invited to submit views relevant to 
this aspect of the review.
    Section 182 requires the Trade Representative to identify all such 
acts, policies, or practices within 30 days of the publication of the 
NTE Report. In accordance with this statutory requirement, USTR will 
publish the annual Special 301 Report on or about April 30, 2016.

2. Comments From the Public

a. Requirements for Written Comments

    To facilitate the review, written comments should be as detailed as 
possible and provide all necessary information for identifying and 
assessing the effect of the acts, policies, and practices. USTR 
requests that interested parties provide specific references to laws; 
regulations; policy statements, including innovation policies; 
executive, presidential or other orders; and administrative, court or 
other determinations that should factor in the review. USTR also 
requests that, where relevant, submissions mention

[[Page 1278]]

particular regions, provinces, states, or other subdivisions of a 
country in which an act, policy, or practice is believed to warrant 
special attention. Finally, submissions proposing countries for review 
should include data, loss estimates, and other information regarding 
the economic impact on the United States, U.S. industry and the U.S. 
workforce caused by the denial of adequate and effective intellectual 
property protection. Comments that include quantitative loss claims 
should be accompanied by the methodology used in calculating such 
estimated losses.

b. Filing Instructions

    Comments must be in English. All comments should be sent 
electronically via www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2015-0022. 
To submit comments, locate the docket (folder) by entering the number 
USTR-2015-0022 in the ``Enter Keyword or ID'' window at the 
www.regulations.gov home page and click ``Search.'' The site will 
provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with 
this docket. Locate the reference to this notice by selecting 
``Notice'' under ``Document Type'' on the left side of the search-
results page, and click on the link entitled ``Comment Now!.'' USTR 
requests that comments be provided in an attached document, and that 
the file be named according to the following protocol, as appropriate: 
Commenter Name or Organization_2016 Special 301_Review_Comment or 
Notice of Intent to Testify or Hearing Testimony. Please include the 
following information in the `Type Comment'' field: ``2016 Special 301 
Review'' and whether the submission is a comment, a request to testify 
at the Public Hearing, or Hearing testimony. Please submit documents 
prepared in (or compatible with) Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat 
(.pdf) formats. If the submission was prepared in a compatible format, 
please indicate the name of the relevant software application in the 
``Type Comment'' field. For further information on using the 
www.regulations.gov Web site, please select ``How to Use 
Regulations.gov'' on the bottom of any page.

3. Public Hearing

a. Notice of Public Hearing

    The Special 301 Subcommittee will hold a public hearing on March 1, 
2016, at Office of the United State Trade Representative, 1724 F Street 
NW., Rooms 1&2, Washington, DC 20508, at which interested persons, 
including representatives of foreign governments, may appear to provide 
oral testimony. If necessary, the hearing may continue on the next 
business day. The hearing will be open to the public. Because the 
hearings will be located in Federal facilities, security screening will 
be required. Attendees will need to show photo identification and be 
screened for security purposes. Please consult www.ustr.gov to confirm 
the date and location of the hearing and to obtain copies of the 
hearing schedule. USTR also will post the transcript and recording of 
the hearing on the USTR Web site as soon after the hearing as possible.

b. Submission of Notice of Intent To Testify and Hearing Statements

    Prepared oral testimony before the Special 301 Subcommittee must be 
delivered in person, in English, and will be limited to five minutes. 
Subcommittee member agencies may ask questions following the prepared 
statement. Persons, except representatives of foreign governments, 
wishing to testify at the hearing must submit a ``Notice of Intent to 
Testify'' and ``Hearing Statement'' to www.regulations.gov (following 
the procedures set forth in ``Filing Instructions'' above). The filing 
deadline is Friday, February 5, 2016. The Notice of Intent to Testify 
must include the name of the witness, name of the organization (if 
applicable), address, telephone number, fax number, and email address. 
A Hearing Statement must accompany the Notice of Intent to Testify. 
There is no requirement regarding the length of the Hearing Statement; 
however, the content of the testimony must be relevant to the Special 
301 Review.
    All representatives of foreign governments that wish to testify at 
the hearing must submit a ``Notice of Intent to Testify'' to 
www.regulations.gov (following the procedures set forth in ``Filing 
Instructions'' above). The Notice of Intent to Testify must be filed by 
Friday, February 19, 2015, and include the name of the witness, name of 
the organization (if applicable), address, telephone number, fax 
number, and email address. Although not mandatory, government witnesses 
may submit a Hearing Statement when filing the Notice of Intent to 
Testify.

4. Business Confidential Information

    A person requesting that information contained in a comment 
submitted by that person be treated as confidential business 
information must certify that such information is business confidential 
and would not customarily be released to the public by the submitter. 
The filenames of both documents should reflect their status--``BCI'' 
for the business confidential version and ``PUBLIC'' for the public 
version. In the document, confidential business information must be 
clearly designated as such, the submission must be marked ``BUSINESS 
CONFIDENTIAL'' at the top and bottom of the cover page and each 
succeeding page, and the submission should indicate, via brackets, the 
specific information that is confidential.
    Additionally, the submitter should write ``Business Confidential'' 
in the ``Type Comment'' field. Anyone submitting a comment containing 
business confidential information must also submit, as a separate 
submission, a nonbusiness confidential version of the submission, 
indicating where the business confidential information has been 
redacted. The non-business confidential version will be placed in the 
docket at www.regulations.gov and be available for public inspection.

5. Inspection of Comments

    USTR will maintain a publicly accessible docket for the 2016 
Special 301 Review. This public file will include all non-business 
confidential comments, notices of intent to testify, and hearing 
statements that USTR receives from the public, including foreign 
governments, in conjunction with the 2016 Special 301 Review. Comments 
will be placed in the docket upon receipt and be open to public 
inspection pursuant to 15 CFR 2006.13. Comments containing confidential 
business information are exempt from public inspection in accordance 
with 15 CFR 2006.15. However, USTR will require submission of non-
business confidential versions of such documents, as described above, 
and will post non-business confidential versions to the public docket. 
Comments may be viewed at www.regulations.gov by entering docket number 
USTR-2015-0022 in the search field on the home page.

Probir Mehta,
Acting Assistant United States Trade Representative (AUSTR) for 
Intellectual Property and Innovation, Office of the United States Trade 
Representative.
[FR Doc. 2015-33278 Filed 1-8-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3290-F5-P