Request for Comments on Operation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative, 35920-35921 [2019-15764]

Download as PDF 35920 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 143 / Thursday, July 25, 2019 / Notices OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE [Docket Number USTR–2019–0007] Request for Comments on Operation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: The U.S. Trade Representative has to submit a report to Congress regarding the operation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) by December 31, 2019. The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) invites comments concerning the operation of the CBI, including the performance of each beneficiary country, to assist in preparing the report to Congress on the operation of the CBI program. DATES: The TPSC must receive your written comments by August 30, 2019. ADDRESSES: The TPSC strongly prefers electronic submissions made through the Federal Rulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov, using docket number USTR–2019–0007. Follow the instructions for submitting comments in ‘‘Requirements for Submissions’’ below. For alternatives to on-line submissions, please contact Magaly Garcia, Director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Caribbean, at magaly.a.garcia@ustr.eop.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact Magaly Garcia, Director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Caribbean, at magaly.a.garcia@ustr.eop.gov, or 202–395–9539. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES I. Background Together, the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), as amended by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) (19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), are commonly referred to as the Caribbean Basin Initiative, or CBI. Section 212(f)(1) of CBERA (19 U.S.C. 2702(f)(1)) requires the U.S. Trade Representative to report on the performance of each CBERA or CBTPA beneficiary country. Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago receive benefits under both CBERA and CBTPA. Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines currently receive benefits only under CBERA. For the purposes of this report, the term ‘‘beneficiary country’’ includes both the independent countries and dependent VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Jul 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 territories receiving benefits under CBTPA and/or CBERA. As described in more detail below, the TPSC seeks comments on any aspect of the CBI program’s operation, including the performance of CBERA and CBTPA beneficiary countries under the criteria described in sections 212(b) (19 U.S.C. 2702(b)), 212(c) (19 U.S.C. 2702(c)), and 213(b)(5)(B) (19 U.S.C. 2703(b)(5)(B)) of the CBERA, as amended. You can access the criteria at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ USCODE-2011-title19/html/USCODE2011-title19-chap15.htm. The report also will examine the CBI’s effect on the volume and composition of trade and investment between the United States and the CBI beneficiary countries and on advancing U.S. trade policy goals. You can access the most recent CBI report at: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/ files/gsp/2017%20CBI%20Report.pdf. II. Reporting Requirements on the Eligibility Criteria for All CBI Beneficiary Countries The TPSC seeks comments on any aspect of the CBI program’s operation, including the performance of CBERA and CBTPA beneficiary countries using the following criteria: A. CBERA: Bases for Ineligibility Under section 212(b) (19 U.S.C. 2702(b)), unless the President determines that it is in the national economic or security interest of the United States, the President may not designate as a CBI beneficiary country any country that: 1. Is a Communist country. 2. Has expropriated, nationalized, or otherwise seized control of property owned by a U.S. citizen or by a corporation which is 50 percent or more owned by a U.S. citizen, unless the President determines that the country is taking steps to resolve the U.S. citizen’s claim. 3. Fails to act in good faith in recognizing as binding or in enforcing arbitral awards in favor of U.S. citizens or corporations owned by U.S. citizens. 4. Affords preferential treatment to the products of a developed country other than the United States that has, or is likely to have, a significant adverse effect on U.S. commerce, unless the President has received satisfactory assurances that the country will eliminate the preferential treatment or acts to assure that there will be no significant adverse effect. 5. Allows a government-owned entity in such country to engage in the broadcast of copyrighted material, including films or television material, PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 belonging to United States copyright owners without their express consent. 6. Is not a signatory to a treaty, convention, protocol, or other agreement regarding the extradition of U.S. citizens. 7. Has not or is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights, as defined in section 507(4) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2467(4)), to workers in the country (including any designated zone in that country). B. CBERA: Factors Determining Designation Under section 212(c) (19 U.S.C. 2702(c)), the President has to consider the following factors in determining whether to designate any country as a CBI beneficiary country: 1. An expression of a country’s desire to be so designated. 2. The economic conditions and living standards in a country. 3. The extent to which a country has assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets and basic commodity resources of the country. 4. The degree to which the country follows the international trade rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). 5. The degree to which a country uses export subsidies or imposes export performance requirements or local content requirements that distort international trade. 6. The degree to which the trade policies of a country as they relate to other beneficiary countries are contributing to the revitalization of the region. 7. The degree to which a country is undertaking self-help measures to promote its own economic development. 8. Whether or not a country has taken or is taking steps to afford to workers in that country (including any designated zone in that country) internationally recognized worker rights. 9. The extent to which a country provides adequate and effective legal means for foreign nationals to secure, exercise, and enforce exclusive intellectual property rights. 10. The extent to which a country prohibits its nationals from broadcasting U.S. copyrighted materials, including film and television material, without their express consent. 11. The extent to which a country cooperates with the United States in the administration of CBI preferences. C. CBTPA: Eligibility Criteria Under section 213(b)(5)(B) (19 U.S.C. 2703(b)(5)(B)), in considering the E:\FR\FM\25JYN1.SGM 25JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 143 / Thursday, July 25, 2019 / Notices jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES eligibility of the CBI countries and dependent territories that have expressed an interest in receiving the enhanced preferences of the CBTPA, the President must take into account the existing eligibility criteria of the CBERA, as well as several additional revised criteria elaborated in the CBTPA. These additional criteria are: 1. Whether the beneficiary country has demonstrated a commitment to undertake its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) on or ahead of schedule and participate in negotiations toward the completion of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) or another free trade agreement. 2. The extent to which the country provides protection of intellectual property rights consistent with or greater than the protection afforded under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. 3. The extent to which the country provides internationally recognized worker rights, including: The right of association; the right to organize and bargain collectively; a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labor; a minimum age for the employment of children; and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health. 4. Whether the country has implemented its commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, as defined in section 507(6) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2467(6)). 5. The extent to which the country has met U.S. counter-narcotics certification criteria under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. 6. The extent to which the country has taken steps to become a party to and implements the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. 7. The extent to which the country applies transparent, nondiscriminatory, and competitive procedures in government procurement, and contributes to efforts in international fora to develop and implement international rules on transparency in government procurement. III. Requirements for Submissions The TPSC must receive your comments by the August 30, 2019 deadline. You must make all submissions in English via http:// www.regulations.gov, using Docket Number USTR–2019–0007. USTR will not accept hand-delivered submissions. To make a submission using http:// www.regulations.gov, enter the appropriate docket number in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Jul 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 ‘‘search for’’ field 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 by selecting ‘‘notice’’ under ‘‘document type’’ in the ‘‘filter results by’’ section on the left side of the screen and click on the link entitled ‘‘comment now.’’ You must identify on the first page of the submission the subject matter of the comment as the ‘‘CBI Report to Congress.’’ The regulations.gov website offers the option of providing comments by filling in a ‘‘type comment’’ field or by attaching a document using the ‘‘upload file(s)’’ field. The TPSC prefers that you provide submissions in an attached document and note ‘‘see attached’’ in the ‘‘type comment’’ field on the online submission form. The TPSC prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. If the submission is in another file format, please indicate the name of the software application in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field. File names should reflect 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 comment itself, rather than submitting them as separate files. Submissions should not exceed 30 single-spaced, standard letter-size pages in 12-point type, including attachments. You will receive a tracking number upon completion of the submission procedure at http:// www.regulations.gov. The tracking number is confirmation that regulations.gov received the submission. Keep the confirmation for your records. The TPSC is not able to provide technical assistance for the website. The TPSC may not consider documents you do not submit in accordance with these instructions. If you are unable to provide submissions as requested, please contact Magaly Garcia, Director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Caribbean, at magaly.a.garcia@ustr.eop.gov, to arrange for an alternative method of transmission. IV. Business Confidential Submissions If you ask the TPSC to treat information you submitted as business confidential information (BCI), you must certify that the information is business confidential and you would not customarily release it to the public. You must clearly designate BCI by marking the submission ‘‘BUSINESS PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 35921 CONFIDENTIAL’’ at the top and bottom of the cover page and each succeeding page, and indicating, via brackets, the specific information that is BCI. Additionally, you must include ‘‘Business Confidential’’ in the ‘‘type comment’’ field. For any submission containing BCI, you must separately submit a non-confidential version, i.e., not as part of the same submission with the confidential version, indicating where BCI has been redacted. The TPSC will post the non-confidential version in the docket and it will be open to public inspection. V. Public Viewing of Review Submissions The TPSC will post comments in the docket for public inspection, except business confidential information. You can view comments on the www.regulations.gov website by entering the relevant docket number in the search field on the home page. You can find general information about the Office of the United States Trade Representative on its website: http:// www.ustr.gov. Edward Gresser, Chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States Trade Representative. [FR Doc. 2019–15764 Filed 7–24–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290–F9–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration [Docket No. FHWA–2019–0024] Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for Approval of a New Information Collection Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of request for approval of a new information collection. AGENCY: The FHWA has forwarded the information collection request described in this notice to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval of a new information collection. We published a Federal Register Notice with a 60-day public comment period on this information collection on May 3, 2019. We are required to publish this notice in the Federal Register by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Please submit comments by August 26, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may send comments within 30 days to the Office of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25JYN1.SGM 25JYN1

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[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 143 (Thursday, July 25, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35920-35921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-15764]



[[Page 35920]]

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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

[Docket Number USTR-2019-0007]


Request for Comments on Operation of the Caribbean Basin 
Initiative

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Trade Representative has to submit a report to 
Congress regarding the operation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative 
(CBI) by December 31, 2019. The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) 
invites comments concerning the operation of the CBI, including the 
performance of each beneficiary country, to assist in preparing the 
report to Congress on the operation of the CBI program.

DATES: The TPSC must receive your written comments by August 30, 2019.

ADDRESSES: The TPSC strongly prefers electronic submissions made 
through the Federal Rulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov, 
using docket number USTR-2019-0007. Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments in ``Requirements for Submissions'' below. For 
alternatives to on-line submissions, please contact Magaly Garcia, 
Director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Caribbean, at 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact Magaly Garcia, Director 
for Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Caribbean, at 
[email protected], or 202-395-9539.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    Together, the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), as 
amended by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) (19 U.S.C. 
2701 et seq.), are commonly referred to as the Caribbean Basin 
Initiative, or CBI. Section 212(f)(1) of CBERA (19 U.S.C. 2702(f)(1)) 
requires the U.S. Trade Representative to report on the performance of 
each CBERA or CBTPA beneficiary country. Barbados, Belize, Curacao, 
Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago receive 
benefits under both CBERA and CBTPA. Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the 
Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint 
Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines currently receive 
benefits only under CBERA. For the purposes of this report, the term 
``beneficiary country'' includes both the independent countries and 
dependent territories receiving benefits under CBTPA and/or CBERA.
    As described in more detail below, the TPSC seeks comments on any 
aspect of the CBI program's operation, including the performance of 
CBERA and CBTPA beneficiary countries under the criteria described in 
sections 212(b) (19 U.S.C. 2702(b)), 212(c) (19 U.S.C. 2702(c)), and 
213(b)(5)(B) (19 U.S.C. 2703(b)(5)(B)) of the CBERA, as amended. You 
can access the criteria at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title19/html/USCODE-2011-title19-chap15.htm. The report also will 
examine the CBI's effect on the volume and composition of trade and 
investment between the United States and the CBI beneficiary countries 
and on advancing U.S. trade policy goals. You can access the most 
recent CBI report at: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/gsp/2017%20CBI%20Report.pdf.

II. Reporting Requirements on the Eligibility Criteria for All CBI 
Beneficiary Countries

    The TPSC seeks comments on any aspect of the CBI program's 
operation, including the performance of CBERA and CBTPA beneficiary 
countries using the following criteria:

A. CBERA: Bases for Ineligibility

    Under section 212(b) (19 U.S.C. 2702(b)), unless the President 
determines that it is in the national economic or security interest of 
the United States, the President may not designate as a CBI beneficiary 
country any country that:
    1. Is a Communist country.
    2. Has expropriated, nationalized, or otherwise seized control of 
property owned by a U.S. citizen or by a corporation which is 50 
percent or more owned by a U.S. citizen, unless the President 
determines that the country is taking steps to resolve the U.S. 
citizen's claim.
    3. Fails to act in good faith in recognizing as binding or in 
enforcing arbitral awards in favor of U.S. citizens or corporations 
owned by U.S. citizens.
    4. Affords preferential treatment to the products of a developed 
country other than the United States that has, or is likely to have, a 
significant adverse effect on U.S. commerce, unless the President has 
received satisfactory assurances that the country will eliminate the 
preferential treatment or acts to assure that there will be no 
significant adverse effect.
    5. Allows a government-owned entity in such country to engage in 
the broadcast of copyrighted material, including films or television 
material, belonging to United States copyright owners without their 
express consent.
    6. Is not a signatory to a treaty, convention, protocol, or other 
agreement regarding the extradition of U.S. citizens.
    7. Has not or is not taking steps to afford internationally 
recognized worker rights, as defined in section 507(4) of the Trade Act 
of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2467(4)), to workers in the country 
(including any designated zone in that country).

B. CBERA: Factors Determining Designation

    Under section 212(c) (19 U.S.C. 2702(c)), the President has to 
consider the following factors in determining whether to designate any 
country as a CBI beneficiary country:
    1. An expression of a country's desire to be so designated.
    2. The economic conditions and living standards in a country.
    3. The extent to which a country has assured the United States that 
it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets and 
basic commodity resources of the country.
    4. The degree to which the country follows the international trade 
rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
    5. The degree to which a country uses export subsidies or imposes 
export performance requirements or local content requirements that 
distort international trade.
    6. The degree to which the trade policies of a country as they 
relate to other beneficiary countries are contributing to the 
revitalization of the region.
    7. The degree to which a country is undertaking self-help measures 
to promote its own economic development.
    8. Whether or not a country has taken or is taking steps to afford 
to workers in that country (including any designated zone in that 
country) internationally recognized worker rights.
    9. The extent to which a country provides adequate and effective 
legal means for foreign nationals to secure, exercise, and enforce 
exclusive intellectual property rights.
    10. The extent to which a country prohibits its nationals from 
broadcasting U.S. copyrighted materials, including film and television 
material, without their express consent.
    11. The extent to which a country cooperates with the United States 
in the administration of CBI preferences.

C. CBTPA: Eligibility Criteria

    Under section 213(b)(5)(B) (19 U.S.C. 2703(b)(5)(B)), in 
considering the

[[Page 35921]]

eligibility of the CBI countries and dependent territories that have 
expressed an interest in receiving the enhanced preferences of the 
CBTPA, the President must take into account the existing eligibility 
criteria of the CBERA, as well as several additional revised criteria 
elaborated in the CBTPA. These additional criteria are:
    1. Whether the beneficiary country has demonstrated a commitment to 
undertake its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 
or ahead of schedule and participate in negotiations toward the 
completion of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) or another 
free trade agreement.
    2. The extent to which the country provides protection of 
intellectual property rights consistent with or greater than the 
protection afforded under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of 
Intellectual Property Rights.
    3. The extent to which the country provides internationally 
recognized worker rights, including: The right of association; the 
right to organize and bargain collectively; a prohibition on the use of 
any form of forced or compulsory labor; a minimum age for the 
employment of children; and acceptable conditions of work with respect 
to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.
    4. Whether the country has implemented its commitments to eliminate 
the worst forms of child labor, as defined in section 507(6) of the 
Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2467(6)).
    5. The extent to which the country has met U.S. counter-narcotics 
certification criteria under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
    6. The extent to which the country has taken steps to become a 
party to and implements the Inter-American Convention Against 
Corruption.
    7. The extent to which the country applies transparent, 
nondiscriminatory, and competitive procedures in government 
procurement, and contributes to efforts in international fora to 
develop and implement international rules on transparency in government 
procurement.

III. Requirements for Submissions

    The TPSC must receive your comments by the August 30, 2019 
deadline. You must make all submissions in English via http://www.regulations.gov, using Docket Number USTR-2019-0007. USTR will not 
accept hand-delivered submissions.
    To make a submission using http://www.regulations.gov, enter the 
appropriate docket number in the ``search for'' field 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 by selecting ``notice'' under ``document type'' in the 
``filter results by'' section on the left side of the screen and click 
on the link entitled ``comment now.'' You must identify on the first 
page of the submission the subject matter of the comment as the ``CBI 
Report to Congress.'' The regulations.gov website offers the option of 
providing comments by filling in a ``type comment'' field or by 
attaching a document using the ``upload file(s)'' field. The TPSC 
prefers that you provide submissions in an attached document and note 
``see attached'' in the ``type comment'' field on the online submission 
form.
    The TPSC prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe 
Acrobat (.pdf) format. If the submission is in another file format, 
please indicate the name of the software application in the ``Type 
Comment'' field. File names should reflect 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 comment itself, rather than 
submitting them as separate files. Submissions should not exceed 30 
single-spaced, standard letter-size pages in 12-point type, including 
attachments.
    You will receive a tracking number upon completion of the 
submission procedure at http://www.regulations.gov. The tracking number 
is confirmation that regulations.gov received the submission. Keep the 
confirmation for your records. The TPSC is not able to provide 
technical assistance for the website. The TPSC may not consider 
documents you do not submit in accordance with these instructions. If 
you are unable to provide submissions as requested, please contact 
Magaly Garcia, Director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Caribbean, at 
[email protected], to arrange for an alternative method of 
transmission.

IV. Business Confidential Submissions

    If you ask the TPSC to treat information you submitted as business 
confidential information (BCI), you must certify that the information 
is business confidential and you would not customarily release it to 
the public. You must clearly designate BCI by marking the submission 
``BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL'' at the top and bottom of the cover page and 
each succeeding page, and indicating, via brackets, the specific 
information that is BCI. Additionally, you must include ``Business 
Confidential'' in the ``type comment'' field. For any submission 
containing BCI, you must separately submit a non-confidential version, 
i.e., not as part of the same submission with the confidential version, 
indicating where BCI has been redacted. The TPSC will post the non-
confidential version in the docket and it will be open to public 
inspection.

V. Public Viewing of Review Submissions

    The TPSC will post comments in the docket for public inspection, 
except business confidential information. You can view comments on the 
www.regulations.gov website by entering the relevant docket number in 
the search field on the home page. You can find general information 
about the Office of the United States Trade Representative on its 
website: http://www.ustr.gov.

Edward Gresser,
Chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States 
Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2019-15764 Filed 7-24-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3290-F9-P