Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning an Out-of-Cycle Review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, 28217-28218 [2017-12784]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 117 / Tuesday, June 20, 2017 / Notices questions regarding this notice to Alan Treat, Director for African Affairs, at (202) 395–9514. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE [Docket Number USTR–2017–0008] Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning an Out-ofCycle Review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice of initiation of review, public hearing and request for comments. AGENCY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), is announcing the initiation of an out-of-cycle review of the eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda to receive benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in response to a petition. The AGOA Subcommittee of the TPSC (Subcommittee) will consider written comments, written testimony, and oral testimony in response to this notice to develop recommendations for the President as to whether the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility criteria. DATES: June 30, 2017: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the July 13, 2017 public hearing, and for filing prehearing briefs, statements, or comments on the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. July 13, 2017: The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the TPSC will convene a public hearing on the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. July 21, 2017: Deadline for filing posthearing briefs, statements, or comments on this matter. ADDRESSES: USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments in section 3 below. The docket number is USTR–2017–0008. For alternatives to on-line submissions, please contact Yvonne Jamison, Trade Policy Staff Committee, at (202) 395–3475. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For procedural questions concerning written comments or participating in the public hearing, contact Yvonne Jamison at (202) 395–3475. Direct all other sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:01 Jun 19, 2017 Jkt 241001 1. Background AGOA (Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106– 200) (19 U.S.C. 2466a, et seq.), as amended, authorizes the President to designate sub-Saharan African countries as beneficiaries eligible for duty-free treatment for certain additional products not included for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) (Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2461, et seq.) (1974 Act), as well as for the preferential treatment for certain textile and apparel articles. The President may designate a country as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country eligible for these AGOA benefits if he determines that the country meets the eligibility criteria set forth in section 104 of the AGOA (19 U.S.C. 3703) and section 502 of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462). Section 104 of AGOA includes requirements that the beneficiary country has established or is making continual progress toward establishing: A market-based economy; the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process; the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment; economic policies to reduce poverty; a system to combat corruption and bribery; and the protection of internationally recognized worker rights. In addition, the country may not engage in activities that undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests or engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Please see section 104 of the AGOA and section 502 of the 1974 Act for a complete list of the AGOA eligibility criteria. Section 506 of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA) requires the President to establish a petition process to allow any interested person, at any time, to file a petition with USTR concerning compliance of any subSaharan African country listed in section 107 of the AGOA (19 U.S.C. 3706), with the eligibility requirements set forth in section 104 of the AGOA and section 502 of the 1974 Act. On February 26, 2016, the President delegated this authority to the United States Trade Representative. USTR has established a petition process. See 15 CFR part 2017. II. The Petition On March 21, 2017, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) submitted a PO 00000 Frm 00175 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28217 petition to USTR requesting an out-ofcycle review to determine whether the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility criteria. The SMART petition asserts that a March 2016 decision by the East African Community (EAC), which includes the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda, to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear is imposing significant economic hardship on the U.S. used clothing industry, and is in violation of the AGOA statutory eligibility criteria to make continual progress toward establishing a market based economy and eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment. In response to the SMART petition, USTR has determined, in consultation with the TPSC, that there are exceptional circumstances warranting an out-of-cycle review of the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. With respect to the Republic of Kenya, USTR has determined that an out-of-cycle review of Kenya’s AGOA eligibility is not warranted at this time, due to recent actions Kenya has taken, including reversing tariff increases, effective July 1, 2017, and committing not to ban imports of used clothing through policy measures that are more trade-restrictive than necessary to protect human health. USTR will continue to monitor Kenya’s actions to ensure that Kenya follows through on its commitments. The USTR has consulted with Congress about these determinations. Section 506A of the 1974 Act requires the President to terminate the designation of a country as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country if he determines that the beneficiary country is not making continual progress in meeting the eligibility requirements. As amended by the TPEA, the President may withdraw, suspend, or limit the application of duty-free treatment with respect to articles from the country if he determines that it would be more effective in promoting compliance with AGOA-eligibility requirements than terminating the designation of the country as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country. The Subcommittee is seeking public comments in connection with this outof-cycle review of the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. The Subcommittee will consider the written comments, written testimony, and oral testimony in developing recommendations for the E:\FR\FM\20JNN1.SGM 20JNN1 28218 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 117 / Tuesday, June 20, 2017 / Notices President as to whether the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility criteria. III. Notice of Public Hearing In addition to written comments from the public on the matters listed above, the Subcommittee will convene a public hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 13, 2017, to receive testimony related to the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. The hearing will be held at 1724 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20508 and will be open to the public and to the press. We will make a transcript of the hearing available on www.regulations.gov within approximately two weeks of the date of the hearing. We must receive your written requests to present oral testimony at the hearing and pre-hearing briefs, statements, or comments by noon on Friday, June 30, 2017. You must make the intent to testify notification in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field under docket number USTR–2017–0008 on the www.regulations.gov Web site and you should include the name, address, telephone number and email address, if available, of the person presenting the testimony. You should attach a summary of the testimony by using the ‘‘Upload File’’ field. The name of the file also should include who will be presenting the testimony. Remarks at the hearing should be limited to no more than five minutes to allow for possible questions from the Subcommittee. You should submit all documents in accordance with the instructions in section IV below. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES IV. Requirements for Submissions In order to be assured of consideration, persons submitting a notification of intent to testify and/or written comments must do so in English by noon on Friday, June 30, 2017. USTR strongly encourages commenters to make on-line submissions, using the www.regulations.gov Web site. To submit comments via www.regulations.gov, enter docket number USTR–2017–0008 on the 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 and click on the link entitled ‘‘Comment Now!’’ For further information on using the www.regulations.gov Web site, please consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on ‘‘How to Use Regulations.gov’’ on the bottom of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:01 Jun 19, 2017 Jkt 241001 home page. We will not accept handdelivered submissions. For any comments submitted electronically containing business confidential information, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters ‘‘BC’’. Any page containing business confidential information must be clearly marked ‘‘BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL’’ on the top of that page. Filers of submissions containing business confidential information also must submit a public version of their comments that we will place in the docket for public inspection. The file name of the public version should begin with the character ‘‘P’’. The ‘‘BC’’ and ‘‘P’’ should be followed by the name of the person or entity submitting the comments or reply comments. Filers submitting comments containing no business confidential information should name their file using the name of the person or entity submitting the comments. Please do not attach separate cover letters to electronic submissions; rather, include any information that might appear in a cover letter in the comments themselves. Similarly, to the extent possible, please include any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments in the same file as the submission itself, not as separate files. As noted, USTR strongly urges submitters to file comments through www.regulations.gov. You must make any alternative arrangements with Yvonne Jamison in advance of transmitting a comment. You can contact Ms. Jamison at (202) 395–3475. General information concerning USTR is available at www.ustr.gov. We will post comments in the docket for public inspection, except business confidential information. You can view comments on the www.regulations.gov Web site by entering the relevant docket number in the search field on the home page. Edward Gresser, Chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States Trade Representative. [FR Doc. 2017–12784 Filed 6–19–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290–F7–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration ACTION: Tenth RTCA SC–233 Plenary. The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of a meeting of Tenth RTCA SC–233 Plenary SUMMARY: The meeting will be held July 13, 2017 from 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. DATES: The meeting will be held at: RTCA Headquarters, 1150 18th Street NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20036. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca Morrison at rmorrison@rtca.org or 202–330–0654, or The RTCA Secretariat, 1150 18th Street NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20036, or by telephone at (202) 833–9339, fax at (202) 833–9434, or Web site at http:// www.rtca.org. Pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463, 5 U.S.C., App.), notice is hereby given for a meeting of the Tenth RTCA SC–233 Plenary. The agenda will include the following: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Thursday, July 13, 2017, 10:00 a.m.– 11:00 a.m. 1. Introduction, Upcoming PMC Dates and Deliverable 2. February 2017 Minutes Approval 3. Consider a motion to submit the document to Final Review and Comment 4. Other Business 5. Action Items 6. Review of key dates 7. Adjourn Attendance is open to the interested public but limited to space availability. With the approval of the chairman, members of the public may present oral statements at the meeting. Persons wishing to present statements or obtain information should contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Members of the public may present a written statement to the committee at any time. Issued in Washington, DC, on June 15, 2017. Mohannad Dawoud, Management & Program Analyst, Partnership Contracts Branch, ANG–A17 NextGen, Procurement Services Division,Federal Aviation Administration. [FR Doc. 2017–12852 Filed 6–19–17; 8:45 am] Tenth RTCA SC–233 Plenary BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00176 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\20JNN1.SGM 20JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 117 (Tuesday, June 20, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28217-28218]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12784]



[[Page 28217]]

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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

[Docket Number USTR-2017-0008]


Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning an 
Out-of-Cycle Review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda Eligibility for 
Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice of initiation of review, public hearing and request for 
comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), 
in consultation with the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), is 
announcing the initiation of an out-of-cycle review of the eligibility 
of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of 
Uganda to receive benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act 
(AGOA) in response to a petition. The AGOA Subcommittee of the TPSC 
(Subcommittee) will consider written comments, written testimony, and 
oral testimony in response to this notice to develop recommendations 
for the President as to whether the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic 
of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility 
criteria.

DATES: 
    June 30, 2017: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the July 
13, 2017 public hearing, and for filing pre-hearing briefs, statements, 
or comments on the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United 
Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda.
    July 13, 2017: The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the TPSC 
will convene a public hearing on the AGOA eligibility of the Republic 
of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda.
    July 21, 2017: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs, statements, 
or comments on this matter.

ADDRESSES: USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made through 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments in section 3 below. The docket 
number is USTR-2017-0008. For alternatives to on-line submissions, 
please contact Yvonne Jamison, Trade Policy Staff Committee, at (202) 
395-3475.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For procedural questions concerning 
written comments or participating in the public hearing, contact Yvonne 
Jamison at (202) 395-3475. Direct all other questions regarding this 
notice to Alan Treat, Director for African Affairs, at (202) 395-9514.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1. Background

    AGOA (Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Pub. L. 
106-200) (19 U.S.C. 2466a, et seq.), as amended, authorizes the 
President to designate sub-Saharan African countries as beneficiaries 
eligible for duty-free treatment for certain additional products not 
included for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of 
Preferences (GSP) (Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2461, et 
seq.) (1974 Act), as well as for the preferential treatment for certain 
textile and apparel articles.
    The President may designate a country as a beneficiary sub-Saharan 
African country eligible for these AGOA benefits if he determines that 
the country meets the eligibility criteria set forth in section 104 of 
the AGOA (19 U.S.C. 3703) and section 502 of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 
2462).
    Section 104 of AGOA includes requirements that the beneficiary 
country has established or is making continual progress toward 
establishing: A market-based economy; the rule of law, political 
pluralism, and the right to due process; the elimination of barriers to 
U.S. trade and investment; economic policies to reduce poverty; a 
system to combat corruption and bribery; and the protection of 
internationally recognized worker rights. In addition, the country may 
not engage in activities that undermine U.S. national security or 
foreign policy interests or engage in gross violations of 
internationally recognized human rights. Please see section 104 of the 
AGOA and section 502 of the 1974 Act for a complete list of the AGOA 
eligibility criteria.
    Section 506 of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA) 
requires the President to establish a petition process to allow any 
interested person, at any time, to file a petition with USTR concerning 
compliance of any sub-Saharan African country listed in section 107 of 
the AGOA (19 U.S.C. 3706), with the eligibility requirements set forth 
in section 104 of the AGOA and section 502 of the 1974 Act. On February 
26, 2016, the President delegated this authority to the United States 
Trade Representative. USTR has established a petition process. See 15 
CFR part 2017.

II. The Petition

    On March 21, 2017, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles 
Association (SMART) submitted a petition to USTR requesting an out-of-
cycle review to determine whether the Republic of Kenya, Republic of 
Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting 
the AGOA eligibility criteria. The SMART petition asserts that a March 
2016 decision by the East African Community (EAC), which includes the 
Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and 
Republic of Uganda, to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and 
footwear is imposing significant economic hardship on the U.S. used 
clothing industry, and is in violation of the AGOA statutory 
eligibility criteria to make continual progress toward establishing a 
market based economy and eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and 
investment.
    In response to the SMART petition, USTR has determined, in 
consultation with the TPSC, that there are exceptional circumstances 
warranting an out-of-cycle review of the AGOA eligibility of the 
Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of 
Uganda. With respect to the Republic of Kenya, USTR has determined that 
an out-of-cycle review of Kenya's AGOA eligibility is not warranted at 
this time, due to recent actions Kenya has taken, including reversing 
tariff increases, effective July 1, 2017, and committing not to ban 
imports of used clothing through policy measures that are more trade-
restrictive than necessary to protect human health. USTR will continue 
to monitor Kenya's actions to ensure that Kenya follows through on its 
commitments. The USTR has consulted with Congress about these 
determinations.
    Section 506A of the 1974 Act requires the President to terminate 
the designation of a country as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African 
country if he determines that the beneficiary country is not making 
continual progress in meeting the eligibility requirements. As amended 
by the TPEA, the President may withdraw, suspend, or limit the 
application of duty-free treatment with respect to articles from the 
country if he determines that it would be more effective in promoting 
compliance with AGOA-eligibility requirements than terminating the 
designation of the country as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African 
country.
    The Subcommittee is seeking public comments in connection with this 
out-of-cycle review of the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, 
United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. The Subcommittee 
will consider the written comments, written testimony, and oral 
testimony in developing recommendations for the

[[Page 28218]]

President as to whether the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of 
Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility 
criteria.

III. Notice of Public Hearing

    In addition to written comments from the public on the matters 
listed above, the Subcommittee will convene a public hearing at 10:00 
a.m. on Friday, July 13, 2017, to receive testimony related to the AGOA 
eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and 
Republic of Uganda. The hearing will be held at 1724 F Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20508 and will be open to the public and to the press. 
We will make a transcript of the hearing available on 
www.regulations.gov within approximately two weeks of the date of the 
hearing.
    We must receive your written requests to present oral testimony at 
the hearing and pre-hearing briefs, statements, or comments by noon on 
Friday, June 30, 2017. You must make the intent to testify notification 
in the ``Type Comment'' field under docket number USTR-2017-0008 on the 
www.regulations.gov Web site and you should include the name, address, 
telephone number and email address, if available, of the person 
presenting the testimony. You should attach a summary of the testimony 
by using the ``Upload File'' field. The name of the file also should 
include who will be presenting the testimony. Remarks at the hearing 
should be limited to no more than five minutes to allow for possible 
questions from the Subcommittee.
    You should submit all documents in accordance with the instructions 
in section IV below.

IV. Requirements for Submissions

    In order to be assured of consideration, persons submitting a 
notification of intent to testify and/or written comments must do so in 
English by noon on Friday, June 30, 2017. USTR strongly encourages 
commenters to make on-line submissions, using the www.regulations.gov 
Web site. To submit comments via www.regulations.gov, enter docket 
number USTR-2017-0008 on the 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 and click on the link 
entitled ``Comment Now!'' For further information on using the 
www.regulations.gov Web site, please consult the resources provided on 
the Web site by clicking on ``How to Use Regulations.gov'' on the 
bottom of the home page. We will not accept hand-delivered submissions.
    For any comments submitted electronically containing business 
confidential information, the file name of the business confidential 
version should begin with the characters ``BC''. Any page containing 
business confidential information must be clearly marked ``BUSINESS 
CONFIDENTIAL'' on the top of that page. Filers of submissions 
containing business confidential information also must submit a public 
version of their comments that we will place in the docket for public 
inspection. The file name of the public version should begin with the 
character ``P''. The ``BC'' and ``P'' should be followed by the name of 
the person or entity submitting the comments or reply comments. Filers 
submitting comments containing no business confidential information 
should name their file using the name of the person or entity 
submitting the comments.
    Please do not attach separate cover letters to electronic 
submissions; rather, include any information that might appear in a 
cover letter in the comments themselves. Similarly, to the extent 
possible, please include any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments in 
the same file as the submission itself, not as separate files.
    As noted, USTR strongly urges submitters to file comments through 
www.regulations.gov. You must make any alternative arrangements with 
Yvonne Jamison in advance of transmitting a comment. You can contact 
Ms. Jamison at (202) 395-3475. General information concerning USTR is 
available at www.ustr.gov.
    We will post comments in the docket for public inspection, except 
business confidential information. You can view comments on the 
www.regulations.gov Web site by entering the relevant docket number in 
the search field on the home page.

Edward Gresser,
Chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States 
Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2017-12784 Filed 6-19-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3290-F7-P