Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, 26248-26249 [2021-10079]

Download as PDF 26248 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Notices procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR 401.65(a). NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES: Same as records access procedures. These procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR 401.40 and 401.45. EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM: None. HISTORY: 84 FR 15275, Mass Emergency Notification System (MENS). [FR Doc. 2021–10046 Filed 5–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191–02–P OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE [Docket Number USTR–2021–0009] Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: I. Background The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is announcing the initiation of the annual review of the eligibility of the sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (AGOA Subcommittee) is developing recommendations for the President on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year 2022 and requests comments for this review. Due to COVID–19, the AGOA Subcommittee will foster public participation via written submissions rather than an inperson hearing. This notice includes the schedule for submission of comments and responses to questions from the AGOA Subcommittee related to this review. SUMMARY: DATES: June 23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of written comments on the eligibility of subSaharan African countries to receive the benefits of AGOA. July 7, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for the AGOA Subcommittee to pose any questions on written comments. July 16, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of commenters’ responses to questions from the AGOA Subcommittee. July 23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for replies from other VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 interested parties to the written comments and responses to questions. August 3, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for the AGOA Subcommittee to pose any additional questions on written comments. August 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of responses to any additional questions from the AGOA Subcommittee. ADDRESSES: USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov (Regulations.gov), using Docket Number USTR–2021– 0009. Follow the instructions for submitting comments in ‘Requirements for Submissions’ below. For alternatives to on-line submissions, please contact Jeremy Streatfeild, Director, Office of African Affairs, in advance of the relevant deadline at Jeremy.E.Streatfeild@ustr.eop.gov or (202) 395–8642. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeremy Streatfeild, Director, Office of African Affairs, at Jeremy.E.Streatfeild@ ustr.eop.gov or (202) 395–8642. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 subSaharan African country eligible for AGOA benefits if he determines that the country meets the eligibility criteria set forth in section 104 of 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 country has established or is making continual progress toward establishing, among other things: • A market-based economy • the rule of law • political pluralism • 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 • protection of internationally recognized worker rights PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. Section 502 of the 1974 Act provides for country eligibility criteria under GSP. For a complete list of the AGOA eligibility criteria and more information on the GSP criteria, see section 104 of the AGOA and section 502 of the 1974 Act. Section 506A of the 1974 Act requires the President to monitor and annually review the progress of each sub-Saharan African country in meeting the foregoing eligibility criteria in order to determine if a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country should continue to be eligible, and if a sub-Saharan African country that currently is not a beneficiary, should be designated as a beneficiary. If the President determines that a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country is not making continual progress in meeting the eligibility requirements, the President must terminate the designation of the country as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country. The President also may withdraw, suspend, or limit the application of duty-free treatment with respect to specific articles from a 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. For 2021, the President designated the following 39 countries as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries: 1. Angola 2. Benin 3. Botswana 4. Burkina Faso 5. Cabo Verde 6. Central African Republic 7. Chad 8. Comoros 9. Democratic Republic of Congo (re-instated in 2021) 10. Republic of Congo 11. Cote d’Ivoire 12. Djibouti 13. Eswatini 14. Ethiopia 15. Gabon 16. The Gambia 17. Ghana 18. Guinea 19. Guinea-Bissau 20. Kenya 21. Lesotho 22. Liberia 23. Madagascar 24. Malawi 25. Mali 26. Mauritius 27. Mozambique E:\FR\FM\13MYN1.SGM 13MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Notices 28. Namibia 29. Niger 30. Nigeria 31. Rwanda (AGOA apparel benefits suspended effective July 31, 2018) 32. Sao Tome & Principe 33. Senegal 34. Sierra Leone 35. South Africa 36. Tanzania 37. Togo 38. Uganda 39. Zambia The President did not designate the following sub-Saharan African countries as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries for 2021: 1. Burundi 2. Cameroon 3. Equatorial Guinea (graduated from GSP) 4. Eritrea 5. Mauritania 6. Seychelles (graduated from GSP) 7. Somalia 8. South Sudan 9. Sudan 10. Zimbabwe The AGOA Subcommittee is seeking public comments to develop recommendations to the President in connection with the annual review of sub-Saharan African countries’ eligibility for AGOA benefits. The Secretary of Labor may consider comments related to the child labor criteria to prepare the U.S. Department of Labor’s report on child labor as required under section 504 of the 1974 Act. II. Public Participation Due to COVID–19, the AGOA Subcommittee will foster public participation via written submissions rather than an in-person hearing for the 2022 AGOA Eligibility Review. USTR invites public comment according to the schedule set out in the Dates section above. The AGOA Subcommittee will review comments and replies to comments, if any, and may ask clarifying questions to commenters according to the schedule set out above. The AGOA Subcommittee will post the questions it asks on the public docket, other than questions that include properly designated business confidential information (BCI). Any questions that include properly designated BCI will not be posted on the docket for public viewing, but rather will be sent via email to the relevant commenters. Replies to these questions that also contain BCI must follow procedures laid out in section IV. III. Requirements for Submissions You must submit comments and answers to questions from the AGOA Subcommittee by the applicable VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 deadlines set forth in this notice. You must make all submissions in English via Regulations.gov, using Docket Number USTR–2021–0009. USTR will not accept hand-delivered submissions. To make a submission using Regulations.gov,, enter Docket Number USTR–2021–0009 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.’ 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 AGOA Subcommittee prefers that you provide submissions in an attached document and note ‘see attached’ in the ‘type comment’ field on the online submission form. At the beginning of the submission, or on the first page (if an attachment) include the following text (in bold and underlined): (1) ‘‘2022 AGOA Eligibility Review’’; (2) the relevant country or countries; and (3) whether the document is a comment, a reply to a comment, or an answer to an AGOA Subcommittee question. Submissions should not exceed 30 single-spaced, standard letter-size pages in 12-point type, including attachments. Include any data attachments to the submission in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files. You will receive a tracking number upon completion of the submission procedure at Regulations.gov. The tracking number is confirmation that Regulations.gov received the submission. Keep the confirmation for your records. USTR is not able to provide technical assistance for Regulations.gov. USTR may not consider documents that you do not submit in accordance with these instructions. If you are unable to provide submissions as requested, please contact Jeremy Streatfeild, Director, Office of African Affairs, in advance of the relevant deadline at Jeremy.E.Streatfeild@ustr.eop.gov or (202) 395–8642, to arrange for an alternative method of transmission. General information concerning USTR is available at www.ustr.gov. IV. Business Confidential Submissions If you ask USTR to treat information you submitted as 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 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26249 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. USTR will post the non-confidential version in the docket and it will be open to public inspection. V. Public Viewing of Review Submissions USTR will make public versions of all documents relating to these reviews available for public viewing pursuant to 15 CFR 2017.4, in Docket Number USTR–2021–0009 on Regulations.gov, upon completion of processing. This usually is within two weeks of the relevant due date or date of the submission. VI. Petitions At any time, any interested party may submit a petition to USTR with respect to whether a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country is meeting the AGOA eligibility requirements. An interested party may file a petition through Regulations.gov, under docket number USTR–2021–0009. Edward Gresser, Chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States Trade Representative. [FR Doc. 2021–10079 Filed 5–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290–F1–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Drone Advisory Committee (DAC); Notice of Public Meeting Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: This notice announces a meeting of the Drone Advisory Committee. DATES: The meeting will be held on June 23, 2021, between 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Requests for reasonable accommodations must be received by June 16, 2021. Requests to submit written materials to be reviewed during the meeting must be received no later than June 16, 2021. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13MYN1.SGM 13MYN1

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[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 91 (Thursday, May 13, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26248-26249]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10079]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

[Docket Number USTR-2021-0009]


Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the 
African Growth and Opportunity Act

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is 
announcing the initiation of the annual review of the eligibility of 
the sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the 
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA Implementation 
Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (AGOA Subcommittee) is 
developing recommendations for the President on AGOA country 
eligibility for calendar year 2022 and requests comments for this 
review. Due to COVID-19, the AGOA Subcommittee will foster public 
participation via written submissions rather than an in-person hearing. 
This notice includes the schedule for submission of comments and 
responses to questions from the AGOA Subcommittee related to this 
review.

DATES: 
    June 23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of written 
comments on the eligibility of sub-Saharan African countries to receive 
the benefits of AGOA.
    July 7, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for the AGOA Subcommittee 
to pose any questions on written comments.
    July 16, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of 
commenters' responses to questions from the AGOA Subcommittee.
    July 23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for replies from other 
interested parties to the written comments and responses to questions.
    August 3, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for the AGOA 
Subcommittee to pose any additional questions on written comments.
    August 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of 
responses to any additional questions from the AGOA Subcommittee.

ADDRESSES: USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made through 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov 
(Regulations.gov), using Docket Number USTR-2021-0009. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments in `Requirements for Submissions' 
below. For alternatives to on-line submissions, please contact Jeremy 
Streatfeild, Director, Office of African Affairs, in advance of the 
relevant deadline at [email protected] or (202) 395-
8642.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeremy Streatfeild, Director, Office 
of African Affairs, at [email protected] or (202) 395-
8642.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. 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 AGOA benefits if 
he determines that the country meets the eligibility criteria set forth 
in section 104 of 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 country has 
established or is making continual progress toward establishing, among 
other things:

 A market-based economy
 the rule of law
 political pluralism
 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
 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. Section 
502 of the 1974 Act provides for country eligibility criteria under 
GSP. For a complete list of the AGOA eligibility criteria and more 
information on the GSP criteria, see section 104 of the AGOA and 
section 502 of the 1974 Act.
    Section 506A of the 1974 Act requires the President to monitor and 
annually review the progress of each sub-Saharan African country in 
meeting the foregoing eligibility criteria in order to determine if a 
beneficiary sub-Saharan African country should continue to be eligible, 
and if a sub-Saharan African country that currently is not a 
beneficiary, should be designated as a beneficiary. If the President 
determines that a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country is not making 
continual progress in meeting the eligibility requirements, the 
President must terminate the designation of the country as a 
beneficiary sub-Saharan African country. The President also may 
withdraw, suspend, or limit the application of duty-free treatment with 
respect to specific articles from a 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.
    For 2021, the President designated the following 39 countries as 
beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries:

1. Angola
2. Benin
3. Botswana
4. Burkina Faso
5. Cabo Verde
6. Central African Republic
7. Chad
8. Comoros
9. Democratic Republic of Congo (re-instated in 2021)
10. Republic of Congo
11. Cote d'Ivoire
12. Djibouti
13. Eswatini
14. Ethiopia
15. Gabon
16. The Gambia
17. Ghana
18. Guinea
19. Guinea-Bissau
20. Kenya
21. Lesotho
22. Liberia
23. Madagascar
24. Malawi
25. Mali
26. Mauritius
27. Mozambique

[[Page 26249]]

28. Namibia
29. Niger
30. Nigeria
31. Rwanda (AGOA apparel benefits suspended effective July 31, 2018)
32. Sao Tome & Principe
33. Senegal
34. Sierra Leone
35. South Africa
36. Tanzania
37. Togo
38. Uganda
39. Zambia

    The President did not designate the following sub-Saharan African 
countries as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries for 2021:

1. Burundi
2. Cameroon
3. Equatorial Guinea (graduated from GSP)
4. Eritrea
5. Mauritania
6. Seychelles (graduated from GSP)
7. Somalia
8. South Sudan
9. Sudan
10. Zimbabwe

    The AGOA Subcommittee is seeking public comments to develop 
recommendations to the President in connection with the annual review 
of sub-Saharan African countries' eligibility for AGOA benefits. The 
Secretary of Labor may consider comments related to the child labor 
criteria to prepare the U.S. Department of Labor's report on child 
labor as required under section 504 of the 1974 Act.

II. Public Participation

    Due to COVID-19, the AGOA Subcommittee will foster public 
participation via written submissions rather than an in-person hearing 
for the 2022 AGOA Eligibility Review. USTR invites public comment 
according to the schedule set out in the Dates section above. The AGOA 
Subcommittee will review comments and replies to comments, if any, and 
may ask clarifying questions to commenters according to the schedule 
set out above. The AGOA Subcommittee will post the questions it asks on 
the public docket, other than questions that include properly 
designated business confidential information (BCI). Any questions that 
include properly designated BCI will not be posted on the docket for 
public viewing, but rather will be sent via email to the relevant 
commenters. Replies to these questions that also contain BCI must 
follow procedures laid out in section IV.

III. Requirements for Submissions

    You must submit comments and answers to questions from the AGOA 
Subcommittee by the applicable deadlines set forth in this notice. You 
must make all submissions in English via Regulations.gov, using Docket 
Number USTR-2021-0009. USTR will not accept hand-delivered submissions. 
To make a submission using Regulations.gov,, enter Docket Number USTR-
2021-0009 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.' 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 AGOA Subcommittee 
prefers that you provide submissions in an attached document and note 
`see attached' in the `type comment' field on the online submission 
form. At the beginning of the submission, or on the first page (if an 
attachment) include the following text (in bold and underlined): (1) 
``2022 AGOA Eligibility Review''; (2) the relevant country or 
countries; and (3) whether the document is a comment, a reply to a 
comment, or an answer to an AGOA Subcommittee question. Submissions 
should not exceed 30 single-spaced, standard letter-size pages in 12-
point type, including attachments. Include any data attachments to the 
submission in the same file as the submission itself, and not as 
separate files. You will receive a tracking number upon completion of 
the submission procedure at Regulations.gov. The tracking number is 
confirmation that Regulations.gov received the submission. Keep the 
confirmation for your records. USTR is not able to provide technical 
assistance for Regulations.gov. USTR may not consider documents that 
you do not submit in accordance with these instructions. If you are 
unable to provide submissions as requested, please contact Jeremy 
Streatfeild, Director, Office of African Affairs, in advance of the 
relevant deadline at [email protected] or (202) 395-
8642, to arrange for an alternative method of transmission. General 
information concerning USTR is available at www.ustr.gov.

IV. Business Confidential Submissions

    If you ask USTR to treat information you submitted as 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. USTR will post the non-
confidential version in the docket and it will be open to public 
inspection.

V. Public Viewing of Review Submissions

    USTR will make public versions of all documents relating to these 
reviews available for public viewing pursuant to 15 CFR 2017.4, in 
Docket Number USTR-2021-0009 on Regulations.gov, upon completion of 
processing. This usually is within two weeks of the relevant due date 
or date of the submission.

VI. Petitions

    At any time, any interested party may submit a petition to USTR 
with respect to whether a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country is 
meeting the AGOA eligibility requirements. An interested party may file 
a petition through Regulations.gov, under docket number USTR-2021-0009.

Edward Gresser,
Chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States 
Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2021-10079 Filed 5-12-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3290-F1-P