Traders With Indians, 89015-89017 [2016-29253]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 237 / Friday, December 9, 2016 / Proposed Rules summary of relevant comments we received, if any, and responses to them. We will also include an explanation of how we will apply the new rule. Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563 The Board, with the concurrence of the Office of Management and Budget, has determined that this is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, no regulatory impact analysis is required. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Board certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects individuals only. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended. Paperwork Reduction Act This Proposed Rule imposes no reporting or recordkeeping requirements subject to OMB clearance. List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 295 Railroad retirement. For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Railroad Retirement Board proposes to amend title 20, chapter II, subchapter B, part 295 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 295—PAYMENTS PURSUANT TO COURT DECREE OR COURTAPPROVED SETTLEMENT 1. The authority citation for part 295 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 45 U.S.C. 231f; 45 U.S.C. 231m. § 295.5 [Amended] 2. Amend § 295.5 to revise paragraph (d) to read as follows: ■ § 295.5 Limitations. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (d) Payees. Payment of an amount awarded to a spouse or former spouse by a court decree or property settlement will be made only to the spouse or former spouse except where the Board determines that another person shall be recognized to act on behalf of the spouse or former spouse as provided in Part 266 of the chapter, relating to incompetence. Payment will not be made to the heirs, legatees, creditors or assignees of a spouse or former spouse, except that where an amount is payable to a spouse or former spouse pursuant to this part, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:22 Dec 08, 2016 Jkt 241001 but is unpaid at the death of that spouse or former spouse, the unpaid amount may be paid in accordance with § 234.31 of this chapter, pertaining to employee annuities unpaid at death. * * * * * Dated: December 6, 2016. By Authority of the Board. Martha P. Rico, Secretary to the Board. [FR Doc. 2016–29496 Filed 12–8–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs 25 CFR Part 140 [178A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G] RIN 1076–AF30 Traders With Indians Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; solicitation of comments. AGENCY: The Department of the Interior (Department) is considering whether to propose an administrative rule that would comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) in an effort to modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal selfdetermination and self-governance. The current regulations were promulgated in 1957 and have not been comprehensively updated since 1965. The purpose of this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) is to solicit public comments on whether and how the Department should update 25 CFR part 140, including how the Indian Trader regulations might be updated to govern who trades on Indian land and how the regulations can better promote Tribal self-determination regarding trade on Indian lands. In this ANPRM, the Department also announces dates and locations for Tribal consultations and public meetings to consider this issue. SUMMARY: Comments must be submitted on or before April 10, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: Federal rulemaking portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. The rule is listed under the agency name ‘‘Bureau of Indian Affairs.’’ The rule has been assigned Docket ID: BIA–2016–0007. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 89015 Mail or hand delivery: Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action, Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C St. NW., Mail Stop 3642–MIB, Washington, DC 20240. Please see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document for information on Tribal consultation sessions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action, Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs; telephone (202) 273–4680, elizabeth.appel@ bia.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comment The Department is considering whether to propose an administrative rule that would comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) in an effort to modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal selfdetermination and self-governance. We are interested in hearing from federally recognized tribes. We also welcome comments and information from states and their agencies and from the public. To be most useful, and most likely to inform decisions on the content of a potential administrative rule, comments should: —Be specific; —Be substantive; —Explain the reasoning behind the comments; and —Address the issues outlined in the ANPRM. For the purpose of this ANPRM, we are seeking input solely on questions related to a potential administrative rule on whether and how the Department of the Interior should update 25 CFR part 140, including how the Indian Trader regulations might be updated to govern who trades on Indian land in a manner more consistent with Tribal selfgovernance and self-determination. We are seeking comments solely on following questions: 1. Should the Federal government address trade occurring in Indian Country through an updated 25 CFR part 140, and why? 2. Are there certain components of the existing rule that should be kept, and if so, why? 3. How can revisions to the existing rule ensure that persons who conduct trade are reputable and that there are mechanisms in place to address traders who violate Federal or Tribal law? 4. How do Tribes currently regulate trade in Indian Country and how might E:\FR\FM\09DEP1.SGM 09DEP1 89016 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 237 / Friday, December 9, 2016 / Proposed Rules revisions to 25 CFR part 140 help Tribes regulate trade in Indian Country? 5. What types of trade should be regulated and what type of trader should be subject to regulation? 6. How might revisions to the regulations promote economic viability and sustainability in Indian Country? 7. What services do Tribes currently provide to individuals or entities doing business in Indian Country and what role do tax revenues play in providing those services? In addition to receiving comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, U.S. mail, courier services, and hand delivery (see ADDRESSES section above), we will conduct a series of in-person consultations with federally recognized Tribes, as listed below. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal information in your comment—including personal identifying information—please be aware that your comment may be made publically available at any time. While you may ask in your comment that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we Date mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Background The Department is considering whether to propose a rule that would comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) to modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal selfgovernment and self-determination. The current Indian Trader regulations were promulgated in 1957, revised in 1965, and modified in 1984 in a piecemeal fashion. The current regulations largely reflect policies that ignore Tribal selfdetermination and the growth of Tribal economies. Congress granted the Department broad and comprehensive authority to regulate trade in Indian Country by determining the proper persons to be ‘‘Indian traders.’’ See 25 U.S.C. 261 et seq.; see also 25 U.S.C. 9. The Department would seek to implement these responsibilities in a manner that reflects the current Nation-to-Nation relationship with Tribes should the Department propose a rule that updates 25 CFR part 140. The Department recognizes that many Tribes have enacted comprehensive laws concerning economic activity occurring on Tribal lands and that Tribal courts often retain jurisdiction over Indian traders. This ANPRM solicits information regarding current Tribal regulatory activity over trade occurring within Indian Country. Additionally, the Department recognizes that dual taxation on Tribal lands can undermine the Federal policies supporting Tribal economic development, self-determination, and strong Tribal governments. Dual 16:22 Dec 08, 2016 Tribal Consultations The Department of the Interior will be hosting consultation sessions with Indian Tribes on this ANPRM We will accept both oral and written communications at these consultation sessions. The following table lists dates and tentative locations for the consultations. Specifics on the venue for each location will be provided in a subsequent Federal Register notice. Time (local time zone) Thursday, February 23, 2017 .................................... Tuesday, February 28, 2017 ..................................... Thursday, March 2, 2017 .......................................... Tuesday, March 7, 2017 ........................................... Thursday, March 9, 2017 .......................................... Tuesday, March 14, 2017 ......................................... Thursday, March 16, 2017 ........................................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 cannot guarantee we will be able to do so. Jkt 241001 8:30 8:30 8:30 8:30 8:30 8:30 8:30 a.m.–12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m p.m p.m p.m p.m p.m p.m ................................................. ................................................. ................................................. ................................................. ................................................. ................................................. ................................................. taxation of traders and activities conducted by traders and purchasers can impede a Tribe’s ability to attract investment to Indian lands where such investment and participation are critical to the vitality of Tribal economies. Tribal communities continue to struggle with unmet needs, such as in their schools and housing, as well as economic development, to name a few. Moreover, beyond the operation of their governments, Tribes continually pursue funding for infrastructure, roads, dams, irrigation systems and water delivery. Thus, the Department solicits information under this ANPRM about how revisions to the regulations could promote economic viability and sustainability in Indian Country. Description of the Information Requested We are particularly interested in receiving comments on the following questions relating to revisions of the 25 CFR part 140 we may develop concerning trade occurring in Indian Country: 1. Should the Federal government address trade occurring in Indian Country through an updated 25 CFR part 140, and why? We are seeking views on whether there is a need in Indian Country for the Federal government to revise 25 CFR part 140. As mentioned, Congress granted the Department broad authority to regulate trade in Indian Country. Specifically, under 25 U.S.C. 261, Power to appoint traders with Indians, the Department of the Interior (previously the Commissioner of Indian Affairs) has PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Location Sfmt 4702 Seattle area. Southeastern U.S. Southern California. Billings, Montana. Rapid City, South Dakota. Prior Lake, Minnesota. Northeastern U.S. authority to make rules specifying the kind and quantity of goods that may be sold to Indians and the prices at which such goods shall be sold. Under 25 U.S.C. 262, Persons permitted to trade with Indians, the Department has the authority to establish rules and regulations governing trade on Indian reservations for the protection of the Indians. The Department acknowledges the comprehensive Federal regulation of Indian traders in some areas of Indian Country, but also notes that many Tribes currently regulate trade occurring within their jurisdictions under Tribal laws and authority, often without Federal involvement. The Department also acknowledges its trust responsibility to Tribes and solicits information on whether there is a need for updated regulations addressing a modern approach to the Federal role concerning trade occurring in Indian Country. 2. Are there certain components of the existing rule that should be kept, and if so, why? Should the Department conclude that there is a need for revisions to the existing rule, the Department seeks comments as to which parts, if any, of the existing rule should be kept. For instance, where the Department has issued licenses, should there be a grandfathering clause for currently valid licenses that the Department has issued under part 140? Alternatively, if commenters believe there is a need to update 25 CFR part 140, and that no components of the existing rule should be kept, the E:\FR\FM\09DEP1.SGM 09DEP1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 237 / Friday, December 9, 2016 / Proposed Rules Department requests information as to why this should be so. Additionally, the Department seeks views and proposals on what an entirely new proposed rule may look like. For instance, if the Department should no longer issue licenses, what do commenters envision Federal involvement to be? 3. How can revisions to the existing rule ensure that persons who conduct trade are reputable and that there are mechanisms in place to address traders who violate Federal or Tribal law? If there is a need to update 25 CFR part 140, we solicit information and suggestions on how revisions to the existing rule can ensure that there are reputable actors in Indian Country. Further, the Department requests information and suggestions on revisions to the existing rule to ensure that violations of Federal or Tribal law are properly addressed. The Department acknowledges that many Tribes have comprehensive schemes in place regulating traders conducting business within their jurisdiction. 4. How do Tribes currently regulate trade in Indian Country, and how might revisions to 25 CFR part 140 help Tribes regulate trade in Indian Country? As mentioned, the Department recognizes that many Tribes have enacted comprehensive laws concerning economic activity occurring on Tribal lands and that many Tribal courts retain jurisdiction over Indian traders. For example, the Department is aware that some Tribes have required disclosure of violations of business licenses and of enforcement actions taken by a Federal, Tribal, or State entity for trade-related activity. Tribes have also required the disclosure of any pending lawsuits involving the person and the business, and disclosure of tax liens against the business and other unsatisfied judgments. Other items that Tribes have required include a Federal employer identification number, a State registration number, insurance or bonding information, copies of all licenses (state, county, city or Tribal) currently held by the business, and affiliation with any other businesses. With this in mind, the Department requests information on how Tribes currently regulate trade within their jurisdiction. The Department requests specific information and suggestions, including language on how the Federal government can bolster those Tribes that currently comprehensively regulate trade, as well as those Tribes that do not do so presently. 5. What types of trade should be regulated and what types of traders should be subject to regulation? VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:22 Dec 08, 2016 Jkt 241001 The Department has received numerous proposals from various Tribes pertaining to Indian Trader regulation. Many of these proposals suggest that trade regulated under part 140 should include not only commercial activities, but also mineral and energy development and any form of naturalresources extraction or agriculture. Currently, section 140.5(a)(1) of the existing rule has the following definitions: (5) Contract means any agreement made or under negotiation with any Indian for the purchase, transportation or delivery of goods or supplies. (6) Trading means buying, selling, bartering, renting, leasing, permitting and any other transaction involving the acquisition of property or services. (7) Commercial trading means any trading transaction where an employee engages in the business of buying or selling services or items which he/she is trading. The Department seeks comments on whether the definitions of contract, trading, and commercial trading should be revised, or struck in their entirety, and why. Additionally, the current definitions do not define the type of trader conducting business with an Indian Tribe. The draft proposals the Department has received recommend that the revised rule apply to any person conducting trade in Indian Country, including non-Indians. The Department solicits comments on whether an updated part 140 should define who the rule would apply to and whether or not this definition should broadly include any person conducting trade within Indian Country. 6. How might revisions to the regulations promote economic viability and sustainability in Indian Country? The Department is interested in receiving feedback on how revisions to the trade regulations could facilitate economic activity in Indian country and tribal economic self-sufficiency. 7. What services do Tribes currently provide to individuals or entities doing business in Indian Country and what role do tax revenues play in providing such services? The Department recognizes that Tribes provide a range of services to Indians and non-Indians doing business within their Indian Country. The Department seeks comments identifying the types of services offered, such as law enforcement, food sanitation and health inspections, transportation and other infrastructure, etc. The Department also seeks information on whether and to what extent Tribes are able to rely on tax revenues to provide such services. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 89017 Dated: December 1, 2016. Lawrence S. Roberts, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2016–29253 Filed 12–8–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 57 [REG–134438–15] RIN 1545–BN10 Health Insurance Providers Fee Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This document contains proposed regulations that would modify the current definition of ‘‘net premiums written’’ for purposes of the fee imposed by section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended. The proposed regulations will affect persons engaged in the business of providing health insurance for United States health risks. DATES: Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by March 9, 2017. ADDRESSES: Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–134438–15), room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, PO Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be handdelivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–134438–15), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG–134438– 15) FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, Rachel S. Smith, (202) 317–6855; concerning submissions of comments and request for a hearing, Regina Johnson, (202) 317–6901 (not toll-free numbers). SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Public Law 111–148 (124 Stat. 119 (2010)), as amended by section 10905 of PPACA, and as further amended by section 1406 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, E:\FR\FM\09DEP1.SGM 09DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 237 (Friday, December 9, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 89015-89017]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29253]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

25 CFR Part 140

[178A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G]
RIN 1076-AF30


Traders With Indians

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; solicitation of 
comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of the Interior (Department) is considering 
whether to propose an administrative rule that would comprehensively 
update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) in an effort to 
modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent 
with the Federal policies of Tribal self-determination and self-
governance. The current regulations were promulgated in 1957 and have 
not been comprehensively updated since 1965. The purpose of this 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) is to solicit public 
comments on whether and how the Department should update 25 CFR part 
140, including how the Indian Trader regulations might be updated to 
govern who trades on Indian land and how the regulations can better 
promote Tribal self-determination regarding trade on Indian lands. In 
this ANPRM, the Department also announces dates and locations for 
Tribal consultations and public meetings to consider this issue.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before April 10, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
    Federal rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The rule is 
listed under the agency name ``Bureau of Indian Affairs.'' The rule has 
been assigned Docket ID: BIA-2016-0007.
    Mail or hand delivery: Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of 
Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action, Indian Affairs, U.S. 
Department of the Interior, 1849 C St. NW., Mail Stop 3642-MIB, 
Washington, DC 20240.
    Please see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document 
for information on Tribal consultation sessions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Appel, Director, Office of 
Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action, Office of the Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs; telephone (202) 273-4680, 
elizabeth.appel@bia.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Public Comment

    The Department is considering whether to propose an administrative 
rule that would comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian 
Traders) in an effort to modernize the implementation of the Indian 
Trader statutes consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal self-
determination and self-governance. We are interested in hearing from 
federally recognized tribes. We also welcome comments and information 
from states and their agencies and from the public.
    To be most useful, and most likely to inform decisions on the 
content of a potential administrative rule, comments should:
    --Be specific;
    --Be substantive;
    --Explain the reasoning behind the comments; and
    --Address the issues outlined in the ANPRM.
    For the purpose of this ANPRM, we are seeking input solely on 
questions related to a potential administrative rule on whether and how 
the Department of the Interior should update 25 CFR part 140, including 
how the Indian Trader regulations might be updated to govern who trades 
on Indian land in a manner more consistent with Tribal self-governance 
and self-determination.
    We are seeking comments solely on following questions:
    1. Should the Federal government address trade occurring in Indian 
Country through an updated 25 CFR part 140, and why?
    2. Are there certain components of the existing rule that should be 
kept, and if so, why?
    3. How can revisions to the existing rule ensure that persons who 
conduct trade are reputable and that there are mechanisms in place to 
address traders who violate Federal or Tribal law?
    4. How do Tribes currently regulate trade in Indian Country and how 
might

[[Page 89016]]

revisions to 25 CFR part 140 help Tribes regulate trade in Indian 
Country?
    5. What types of trade should be regulated and what type of trader 
should be subject to regulation?
    6. How might revisions to the regulations promote economic 
viability and sustainability in Indian Country?
    7. What services do Tribes currently provide to individuals or 
entities doing business in Indian Country and what role do tax revenues 
play in providing those services?
    In addition to receiving comments through the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal, U.S. mail, courier services, and hand delivery (see ADDRESSES 
section above), we will conduct a series of in-person consultations 
with federally recognized Tribes, as listed below.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal information in your comment--including personal 
identifying information--please be aware that your comment may be made 
publically available at any time. While you may ask in your comment 
that we withhold your personal identifying information from public 
review, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.

Tribal Consultations

    The Department of the Interior will be hosting consultation 
sessions with Indian Tribes on this ANPRM We will accept both oral and 
written communications at these consultation sessions.
    The following table lists dates and tentative locations for the 
consultations. Specifics on the venue for each location will be 
provided in a subsequent Federal Register notice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Date                  Time (local time zone)                       Location
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday, February 23, 2017.........  8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m...  Seattle area.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017..........  8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m...  Southeastern U.S.
Thursday, March 2, 2017.............  8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m...  Southern California.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017..............  8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m...  Billings, Montana.
Thursday, March 9, 2017.............  8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m...  Rapid City, South Dakota.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017.............  8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m...  Prior Lake, Minnesota.
Thursday, March 16, 2017............  8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m...  Northeastern U.S.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Background

    The Department is considering whether to propose a rule that would 
comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) to 
modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent 
with the Federal policies of Tribal self-government and self-
determination. The current Indian Trader regulations were promulgated 
in 1957, revised in 1965, and modified in 1984 in a piecemeal fashion. 
The current regulations largely reflect policies that ignore Tribal 
self-determination and the growth of Tribal economies.
    Congress granted the Department broad and comprehensive authority 
to regulate trade in Indian Country by determining the proper persons 
to be ``Indian traders.'' See 25 U.S.C. 261 et seq.; see also 25 U.S.C. 
9. The Department would seek to implement these responsibilities in a 
manner that reflects the current Nation-to-Nation relationship with 
Tribes should the Department propose a rule that updates 25 CFR part 
140. The Department recognizes that many Tribes have enacted 
comprehensive laws concerning economic activity occurring on Tribal 
lands and that Tribal courts often retain jurisdiction over Indian 
traders. This ANPRM solicits information regarding current Tribal 
regulatory activity over trade occurring within Indian Country.
    Additionally, the Department recognizes that dual taxation on 
Tribal lands can undermine the Federal policies supporting Tribal 
economic development, self-determination, and strong Tribal 
governments. Dual taxation of traders and activities conducted by 
traders and purchasers can impede a Tribe's ability to attract 
investment to Indian lands where such investment and participation are 
critical to the vitality of Tribal economies. Tribal communities 
continue to struggle with unmet needs, such as in their schools and 
housing, as well as economic development, to name a few. Moreover, 
beyond the operation of their governments, Tribes continually pursue 
funding for infrastructure, roads, dams, irrigation systems and water 
delivery. Thus, the Department solicits information under this ANPRM 
about how revisions to the regulations could promote economic viability 
and sustainability in Indian Country.

Description of the Information Requested

    We are particularly interested in receiving comments on the 
following questions relating to revisions of the 25 CFR part 140 we may 
develop concerning trade occurring in Indian Country:
    1. Should the Federal government address trade occurring in Indian 
Country through an updated 25 CFR part 140, and why?
    We are seeking views on whether there is a need in Indian Country 
for the Federal government to revise 25 CFR part 140. As mentioned, 
Congress granted the Department broad authority to regulate trade in 
Indian Country. Specifically, under 25 U.S.C. 261, Power to appoint 
traders with Indians, the Department of the Interior (previously the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs) has authority to make rules specifying 
the kind and quantity of goods that may be sold to Indians and the 
prices at which such goods shall be sold. Under 25 U.S.C. 262, Persons 
permitted to trade with Indians, the Department has the authority to 
establish rules and regulations governing trade on Indian reservations 
for the protection of the Indians.
    The Department acknowledges the comprehensive Federal regulation of 
Indian traders in some areas of Indian Country, but also notes that 
many Tribes currently regulate trade occurring within their 
jurisdictions under Tribal laws and authority, often without Federal 
involvement. The Department also acknowledges its trust responsibility 
to Tribes and solicits information on whether there is a need for 
updated regulations addressing a modern approach to the Federal role 
concerning trade occurring in Indian Country.
    2. Are there certain components of the existing rule that should be 
kept, and if so, why?
    Should the Department conclude that there is a need for revisions 
to the existing rule, the Department seeks comments as to which parts, 
if any, of the existing rule should be kept. For instance, where the 
Department has issued licenses, should there be a grandfathering clause 
for currently valid licenses that the Department has issued under part 
140?
    Alternatively, if commenters believe there is a need to update 25 
CFR part 140, and that no components of the existing rule should be 
kept, the

[[Page 89017]]

Department requests information as to why this should be so. 
Additionally, the Department seeks views and proposals on what an 
entirely new proposed rule may look like. For instance, if the 
Department should no longer issue licenses, what do commenters envision 
Federal involvement to be?
    3. How can revisions to the existing rule ensure that persons who 
conduct trade are reputable and that there are mechanisms in place to 
address traders who violate Federal or Tribal law?
    If there is a need to update 25 CFR part 140, we solicit 
information and suggestions on how revisions to the existing rule can 
ensure that there are reputable actors in Indian Country. Further, the 
Department requests information and suggestions on revisions to the 
existing rule to ensure that violations of Federal or Tribal law are 
properly addressed. The Department acknowledges that many Tribes have 
comprehensive schemes in place regulating traders conducting business 
within their jurisdiction.
    4. How do Tribes currently regulate trade in Indian Country, and 
how might revisions to 25 CFR part 140 help Tribes regulate trade in 
Indian Country?
    As mentioned, the Department recognizes that many Tribes have 
enacted comprehensive laws concerning economic activity occurring on 
Tribal lands and that many Tribal courts retain jurisdiction over 
Indian traders. For example, the Department is aware that some Tribes 
have required disclosure of violations of business licenses and of 
enforcement actions taken by a Federal, Tribal, or State entity for 
trade-related activity. Tribes have also required the disclosure of any 
pending lawsuits involving the person and the business, and disclosure 
of tax liens against the business and other unsatisfied judgments. 
Other items that Tribes have required include a Federal employer 
identification number, a State registration number, insurance or 
bonding information, copies of all licenses (state, county, city or 
Tribal) currently held by the business, and affiliation with any other 
businesses.
    With this in mind, the Department requests information on how 
Tribes currently regulate trade within their jurisdiction. The 
Department requests specific information and suggestions, including 
language on how the Federal government can bolster those Tribes that 
currently comprehensively regulate trade, as well as those Tribes that 
do not do so presently.
    5. What types of trade should be regulated and what types of 
traders should be subject to regulation?
    The Department has received numerous proposals from various Tribes 
pertaining to Indian Trader regulation. Many of these proposals suggest 
that trade regulated under part 140 should include not only commercial 
activities, but also mineral and energy development and any form of 
natural-resources extraction or agriculture.
    Currently, section 140.5(a)(1) of the existing rule has the 
following definitions:
    (5) Contract means any agreement made or under negotiation with any 
Indian for the purchase, transportation or delivery of goods or 
supplies.
    (6) Trading means buying, selling, bartering, renting, leasing, 
permitting and any other transaction involving the acquisition of 
property or services.
    (7) Commercial trading means any trading transaction where an 
employee engages in the business of buying or selling services or items 
which he/she is trading.

The Department seeks comments on whether the definitions of contract, 
trading, and commercial trading should be revised, or struck in their 
entirety, and why.
    Additionally, the current definitions do not define the type of 
trader conducting business with an Indian Tribe. The draft proposals 
the Department has received recommend that the revised rule apply to 
any person conducting trade in Indian Country, including non-Indians. 
The Department solicits comments on whether an updated part 140 should 
define who the rule would apply to and whether or not this definition 
should broadly include any person conducting trade within Indian 
Country.
    6. How might revisions to the regulations promote economic 
viability and sustainability in Indian Country?
    The Department is interested in receiving feedback on how revisions 
to the trade regulations could facilitate economic activity in Indian 
country and tribal economic self-sufficiency.
    7. What services do Tribes currently provide to individuals or 
entities doing business in Indian Country and what role do tax revenues 
play in providing such services?
    The Department recognizes that Tribes provide a range of services 
to Indians and non-Indians doing business within their Indian Country. 
The Department seeks comments identifying the types of services 
offered, such as law enforcement, food sanitation and health 
inspections, transportation and other infrastructure, etc. The 
Department also seeks information on whether and to what extent Tribes 
are able to rely on tax revenues to provide such services.

    Dated: December 1, 2016.
Lawrence S. Roberts,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2016-29253 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4337-15-P