Initiation of Section 301 Investigation: Vietnam's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Currency Valuation, 63637-63638 [2020-22271]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 196 / Thursday, October 8, 2020 / Notices Market St., Suite 2620, Philadelphia, PA 19103. According to CERA, this action is categorically excluded from environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and from historic preservation reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b). Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: October 2, 2020. By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Director, Office of Proceedings. Brendetta Jones, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2020–22286 Filed 10–7–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. AB 33 (Sub-No. 346X)] khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Union Pacific Railroad Company— Abandonment Exemption—in Kootenai County, Idaho On September 18, 2020, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) filed with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to abandon an approximately 1 .16-mile portion of the Coeur D’Alene Industrial Lead, between milepost 1.09 and milepost 2.25, in Coeur D’Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho (the Line). The Line traverses U.S. Postal Service Zip Code 83854. According to UP, there is one shipper, AmeriGas Propane (AmeriGas), on the Line. UP states that AmeriGas has reached an agreement with the Idaho Department of Transportation (IDOT) to relocate its facility off of the Line. (Pet. 2.) UP states that the abandonment will facilitate an IDOT project to expand Highway 41 and that it intends to convey the property to IDOT for use as a trail, subject to the issuance of a notice of interim trail use or abandonment (NITU).1 (Id.) UP states that, based on the information in its possession, the Line does not contain any federally granted rights-of-way. (Id. at 3.) Any documentation in UP’s possession will be made available promptly to those requesting it. The interest of railroad employees will be protected by the conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line Railroad— 1 Although UP states that IDOT’s use of the rightof-way as a trail would be subject to a certificate of interim trail use or abandonment (CITU), the Board issues CITUs in abandonment application proceedings and NITUs in abandonment exemption proceedings. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Oct 07, 2020 Jkt 253001 Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). By issuing this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be issued by January 6, 2021. Any offer of financial assistance (OFA) under 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2) will be due no later than 120 days after the filing of the petition for exemption, or 10 days after service of a decision granting the petition for exemption, whichever occurs sooner. Persons interested in submitting an OFA must first file a formal expression of intent to file an offer by October 18, 2020, indicating the type of financial assistance they wish to provide (i.e., subsidy or purchase) and demonstrating that they are preliminarily financially responsible. See 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(i). Following authorization for abandonment, the Line may be suitable for other public use, including interim trail use. Any request for a public use condition under 49 CFR 1152.28 or for interim trail use/rail banking under 49 CFR 1152.29 will be due no later than October 28, 2020.2 All pleadings, referring to Docket No. AB 33 (Sub-No. 346X), should be filed with the Surface Transportation Board via e-filing on the Board’s website. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on UP’s representative, Jeremy M. Berman, Union Pacific Railroad Company, 1400 Douglas Street, Stop 1580, Omaha, NE 68179. Replies to the petition are due on or before October 28, 2020. Persons seeking further information concerning abandonment procedures may contact the Board’s Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245–0238 or refer to the full abandonment regulations at 49 CFR part 1152. Questions concerning environmental issues may be directed to the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) at (202) 245–0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. An environmental assessment (EA) (or environmental impact statement (EIS), if necessary) prepared by OEA will be served upon all parties of record and upon any agencies or other persons who comment during its preparation. Other interested persons may contact OEA to obtain a copy of the EA (or EIS). EAs in abandonment proceedings normally will 2 Filing fees for OFAs and trail use requests can be found at 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25) and (27), respectively. PO 00000 Frm 00138 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63637 be made available within 60 days of the filing of the petition. The deadline for submission of comments on the EA generally will be within 30 days of its service. Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: October 2, 2020. By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Director, Office of Proceedings. Tammy Lowery, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2020–22335 Filed 10–7–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE [Docket Number USTR–2020–0037] Initiation of Section 301 Investigation: Vietnam’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Currency Valuation Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: The U.S. Trade Representative is initiating an investigation regarding Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to the valuation of its currency. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) seeks comments regarding the investigation. SUMMARY: To be assured of consideration, you must submit written comments by November 12, 2020. ADDRESSES: You should submit written comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov (Regulations.gov). Follow the instructions for submitting comments in section IV. The docket number is USTR–2020–0037. For issues with on-line submissions, please contact the Section 301 line at 202–395–5725. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For procedural questions concerning the submission of written comments, contact the Section 301 line at 202–395– 5725. For other questions concerning the investigation, contact Michael Gagain, Assistant General Counsel, 202– 395–9529, or Marta Prado, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, 202– 395–6216. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: I. Background The Government of Vietnam, through the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), tightly manages the value of its currency—the dong. The SBV’s management of E:\FR\FM\08OCN1.SGM 08OCN1 63638 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 196 / Thursday, October 8, 2020 / Notices Vietnam’s currency is closely tied to the U.S. dollar. Available analysis indicates that Vietnam’s currency has been undervalued over the past three years. Specifically, analysis indicates that the dong was undervalued on a real effective basis by approximately 7 percent in 2017 and by approximately 8.4 percent in 2018. Furthermore, analysis indicates that the dong’s real effective exchange rate was undervalued in 2019 as well. Available evidence also indicates that the Government of Vietnam, through the SBV, actively intervened in the exchange market, which contributed to the dong’s undervaluation in 2019. Specifically, the evidence indicates that in 2019, the SBV undertook net purchases of foreign exchange totaling approximately $22 billion, which had the effect of undervaluing the dong’s exchange rate with the U.S. dollar during that year. Analysis suggests that Vietnam’s action on the exchange rate in 2019 caused the average nominal bilateral exchange rate against the dollar over the year, 23,224 dong per dollar, to be undervalued by approximately 1,090 dong per dollar relative to the level consistent the equilibrium real effective exchange rate. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES II. Initiation of Section 301 Investigation Section 302(b)(1)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act), authorizes the U.S. Trade Representative to initiate an investigation to determine whether an act, policy, or practice of a foreign country is actionable under section 301 of the Trade Act. Actionable matters under section 301 include acts, policies, and practices of a foreign country that are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. An act, policy, or practice is unreasonable if, while not necessarily in violation of, or inconsistent with, the international legal rights of the United States, it is otherwise unfair and inequitable. On October 2, 2020, in light of the evidence regarding actions taken by Vietnam that contribute to the undervaluation of its currency, the U.S. Trade Representative initiated a section 301 investigation regarding Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to currency valuation. The investigation will focus on whether Vietnam’s interventions—through the SBV—in exchange markets and other related actions that contribute to the undervaluation of Vietnam’s currency are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. In conducting its investigation, USTR will VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Oct 07, 2020 Jkt 253001 consult with the Department of the Treasury as to matters of currency valuation and Vietnam’s exchange rate policy. Pursuant to section 302(b)(1)(B) of the Trade Act, USTR has consulted with appropriate advisory committees. USTR also has consulted with the interagency Section 301 Committee. Pursuant to section 303(a) of the Trade Act, USTR has requested consultations with the Government of Vietnam. Pursuant to section 304 of the Trade Act, USTR must determine whether the act, policy, or practice under investigation is actionable under section 301. If that determination is affirmative, the U.S. Trade Representative must determine what action to take. III. Request for Public Comments You may submit written comments on any issue covered by the investigation. In particular, USTR invites comments regarding: • Whether Vietnam’s currency is undervalued, and the level of the undervaluation. • Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices that contribute to undervaluation of its currency. • The extent to which Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices contribute to the undervaluation. • Whether Vietnam’s acts, policies and practices are unreasonable or discriminatory. • The nature and level of burden or restriction on U.S. commerce caused by the undervaluation of Vietnam’s currency. • The determinations required under section 304 of the Trade Act, including what action, if any, should be taken. In light of the uncertainties arising from COVID–19 restrictions, USTR is not at this time scheduling a public hearing in this investigation. USTR will provide further information in a subsequent notice if it will hold a hearing in this investigation. IV. Procedures for Written Submissions All submissions must be in English and sent electronically via Regulations.gov. To submit comments via Regulations.gov, enter docket number USTR–2020–0037. Find a reference to this notice and click on the link entitled ‘comment now!’. For further information on using Regulations.gov, please consult the resources provided on the website by clicking on ‘how to use regulations.gov’ on the bottom of Regulations.gov home page. USTR will not accept handdelivered submissions. Regulations.gov allows users to submit comments by filling in a ‘type comment’ field or by attaching a document using an ‘upload file’ field. PO 00000 Frm 00139 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 USTR prefers that you submit comments in an attached document. If you attach a document, it is sufficient to type ‘see attached’ in the ‘type comment’ field. USTR strongly prefers submissions in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). If you use an application other than Adobe Acrobat or Word (.doc), please indicate the name of the application in the ‘type comment’ field. File names should reflect the name of the person or entity submitting the comment. Please do not attach separate cover letters to electronic submissions; rather, include any information that would be in a cover letter in the comment itself. 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. For any comments submitted electronically that contain business confidential information (BCI), the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters ‘BCI.’ You must clearly mark any page containing BCI by including ‘BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL’ on the top of that page and clearly indicating, via brackets, highlighting, or other means, the specific information that is BCI. If you request business confidential treatment, you must certify in writing that disclosure of the information would endanger trade secrets or profitability, and that you would not customarily release the information to the public. Filers of submissions containing BCI also must submit a public version of their comments. The file name of the public version should begin with the character ‘P.’ Follow the ‘BCI’ and ‘P’ with the name of the person or entity submitting the comments. If these procedures are not sufficient to protect BCI or otherwise protect business interests, please contact the Section 301 line at 202–395–5725 to discuss whether alternative arrangements are possible. USTR will post submissions in the docket for public inspection, except properly designated BCI. You can view submissions on Regulations.gov by entering docket number USTR–2020– 0037 in the search field on the home page. Joseph Barloon, General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative. [FR Doc. 2020–22271 Filed 10–7–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290–F1–P E:\FR\FM\08OCN1.SGM 08OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 196 (Thursday, October 8, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63637-63638]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-22271]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

[Docket Number USTR-2020-0037]


Initiation of Section 301 Investigation: Vietnam's Acts, 
Policies, and Practices Related to Currency Valuation

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Trade Representative is initiating an investigation 
regarding Vietnam's acts, policies, and practices related to the 
valuation of its currency. The Office of the United States Trade 
Representative (USTR) seeks comments regarding the investigation.

DATES: To be assured of consideration, you must submit written comments 
by November 12, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You should submit written comments through the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov (Regulations.gov). 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments in section IV. The 
docket number is USTR-2020-0037. For issues with on-line submissions, 
please contact the Section 301 line at 202-395-5725.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For procedural questions concerning 
the submission of written comments, contact the Section 301 line at 
202-395-5725. For other questions concerning the investigation, contact 
Michael Gagain, Assistant General Counsel, 202-395-9529, or Marta 
Prado, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia 
and the Pacific, 202-395-6216.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Government of Vietnam, through the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), 
tightly manages the value of its currency--the dong. The SBV's 
management of

[[Page 63638]]

Vietnam's currency is closely tied to the U.S. dollar. Available 
analysis indicates that Vietnam's currency has been undervalued over 
the past three years. Specifically, analysis indicates that the dong 
was undervalued on a real effective basis by approximately 7 percent in 
2017 and by approximately 8.4 percent in 2018. Furthermore, analysis 
indicates that the dong's real effective exchange rate was undervalued 
in 2019 as well.
    Available evidence also indicates that the Government of Vietnam, 
through the SBV, actively intervened in the exchange market, which 
contributed to the dong's undervaluation in 2019. Specifically, the 
evidence indicates that in 2019, the SBV undertook net purchases of 
foreign exchange totaling approximately $22 billion, which had the 
effect of undervaluing the dong's exchange rate with the U.S. dollar 
during that year. Analysis suggests that Vietnam's action on the 
exchange rate in 2019 caused the average nominal bilateral exchange 
rate against the dollar over the year, 23,224 dong per dollar, to be 
undervalued by approximately 1,090 dong per dollar relative to the 
level consistent the equilibrium real effective exchange rate.

II. Initiation of Section 301 Investigation

    Section 302(b)(1)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade 
Act), authorizes the U.S. Trade Representative to initiate an 
investigation to determine whether an act, policy, or practice of a 
foreign country is actionable under section 301 of the Trade Act. 
Actionable matters under section 301 include acts, policies, and 
practices of a foreign country that are unreasonable or discriminatory 
and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. An act, policy, or practice is 
unreasonable if, while not necessarily in violation of, or inconsistent 
with, the international legal rights of the United States, it is 
otherwise unfair and inequitable.
    On October 2, 2020, in light of the evidence regarding actions 
taken by Vietnam that contribute to the undervaluation of its currency, 
the U.S. Trade Representative initiated a section 301 investigation 
regarding Vietnam's acts, policies, and practices related to currency 
valuation. The investigation will focus on whether Vietnam's 
interventions--through the SBV--in exchange markets and other related 
actions that contribute to the undervaluation of Vietnam's currency are 
unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. In 
conducting its investigation, USTR will consult with the Department of 
the Treasury as to matters of currency valuation and Vietnam's exchange 
rate policy.
    Pursuant to section 302(b)(1)(B) of the Trade Act, USTR has 
consulted with appropriate advisory committees. USTR also has consulted 
with the interagency Section 301 Committee. Pursuant to section 303(a) 
of the Trade Act, USTR has requested consultations with the Government 
of Vietnam.
    Pursuant to section 304 of the Trade Act, USTR must determine 
whether the act, policy, or practice under investigation is actionable 
under section 301. If that determination is affirmative, the U.S. Trade 
Representative must determine what action to take.

III. Request for Public Comments

    You may submit written comments on any issue covered by the 
investigation. In particular, USTR invites comments regarding:

     Whether Vietnam's currency is undervalued, and the 
level of the undervaluation.
     Vietnam's acts, policies, or practices that contribute 
to undervaluation of its currency.
     The extent to which Vietnam's acts, policies, or 
practices contribute to the undervaluation.
     Whether Vietnam's acts, policies and practices are 
unreasonable or discriminatory.
     The nature and level of burden or restriction on U.S. 
commerce caused by the undervaluation of Vietnam's currency.
     The determinations required under section 304 of the 
Trade Act, including what action, if any, should be taken.

    In light of the uncertainties arising from COVID-19 restrictions, 
USTR is not at this time scheduling a public hearing in this 
investigation. USTR will provide further information in a subsequent 
notice if it will hold a hearing in this investigation.

IV. Procedures for Written Submissions

    All submissions must be in English and sent electronically via 
Regulations.gov. To submit comments via Regulations.gov, enter docket 
number USTR-2020-0037. Find a reference to this notice and click on the 
link entitled `comment now!'. For further information on using 
Regulations.gov, please consult the resources provided on the website 
by clicking on `how to use regulations.gov' on the bottom of 
Regulations.gov home page. USTR will not accept hand-delivered 
submissions.
    Regulations.gov allows users to submit comments by filling in a 
`type comment' field or by attaching a document using an `upload file' 
field. USTR prefers that you submit comments in an attached document. 
If you attach a document, it is sufficient to type `see attached' in 
the `type comment' field. USTR strongly prefers submissions in Adobe 
Acrobat (.pdf). If you use an application other than Adobe Acrobat or 
Word (.doc), please indicate the name of the application in the `type 
comment' field.
    File names should reflect the name of the person or entity 
submitting the comment. Please do not attach separate cover letters to 
electronic submissions; rather, include any information that would be 
in a cover letter in the comment itself. 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.
    For any comments submitted electronically that contain business 
confidential information (BCI), the file name of the business 
confidential version should begin with the characters `BCI.' You must 
clearly mark any page containing BCI by including `BUSINESS 
CONFIDENTIAL' on the top of that page and clearly indicating, via 
brackets, highlighting, or other means, the specific information that 
is BCI. If you request business confidential treatment, you must 
certify in writing that disclosure of the information would endanger 
trade secrets or profitability, and that you would not customarily 
release the information to the public. Filers of submissions containing 
BCI also must submit a public version of their comments. The file name 
of the public version should begin with the character `P.' Follow the 
`BCI' and `P' with the name of the person or entity submitting the 
comments. If these procedures are not sufficient to protect BCI or 
otherwise protect business interests, please contact the Section 301 
line at 202-395-5725 to discuss whether alternative arrangements are 
possible.
    USTR will post submissions in the docket for public inspection, 
except properly designated BCI. You can view submissions on 
Regulations.gov by entering docket number USTR-2020-0037 in the search 
field on the home page.

Joseph Barloon,
General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2020-22271 Filed 10-7-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3290-F1-P