WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States-Antidumping Measure on Shrimp From Ecuador
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (``USTR'') is providing notice that Ecuador has requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (``WTO Agreement''). That request may be found at http://www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS335/6. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.
Identification of Countries Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment
Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2242), requires the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. Section 182 is commonly referred to as the ``Special 301'' provision of the Trade Act. In addition, USTR is required to determine which of those countries should be identified as Priority Foreign Countries. In its Special 301 Report issued on April 28, 2006, USTR announced the results of the 2006 Special 301 review and stated that Out-of-Cycle Reviews (OCRs) would be conducted for Indonesia, Canada, Chile, Latvia and Saudi Arabia. USTR requests written comments from the public concerning the acts, policies, and practices relevant for this review under Section 182 of the Trade Act.
United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement: 2005 Annual Product Review and Tariff Determinations
This notice announces the results of the 2005 annual product review and tariff determinations, regarding Chilean imports of certain fruits, vegetables and juices, set forth by the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This review determines whether these tariff free products, imported during calendar year 2005, have exceeded conditions elaborated in the FTA thus requiring the U.S. to impose duties predetermined by its tariff phase-out schedule. The effective date for the resulting change in tariff treatment is October 1, 2006.
Request for Public Comment With Respect to the Annual National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
Pursuant to section 303 of the Trade and Tariff Act of 1984, as amended, USTR is required to publish annually the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE). With this notice, the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is requesting interested parties to assist it in identifying significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services and overseas direct investment for inclusion in the NTE. Particularly important are impediments materially affecting the actual and potential financial performance of an industry sector. The TPSC invites written comments that provide views relevant to the issues to be examined in preparing the NTE.
Probable Effect of Modifications to the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement To Accelerate the Reduction of Tariffs on Certain Articles and Modify the Rule of Origin Rule for One Article
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is requesting public input as to the probable effect certain modifications to tariff treatment of imports under the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement on total U.S. trade, domestic producers, and workers in the affected industries. Specifically, USTR is evaluating proposals to accelerate the planned reduction in duties on nutritionals, peanuts, and polycarbonates of Singapore and to modify the rule of origin for photocopiers of Singapore. In addition, USTR is soliciting proposals regarding what sort of concessions Singapore, which does not impose duties on imports from the United States, could make to maintain the balance of concessions if these tariff acceleration requests are approved.
Revised Fiscal Year 2006 Tariff-Rate Quota Additional Allocations for Refined and Specialty Sugar; Initial Fiscal Year 2007 Tariff-Rate Quota Allocations for Raw Cane Sugar, Refined Sugar, Specialty Sugar, and Sugar-Containing Products; and Notice of Agreement Between the United States and Mexico on Market Access for Sweeteners
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice of additional allocations of the in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quotas for imported refined sugar and specialty sugar for the period October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006 (FY 2006). USTR is also providing notice of country-by-country allocations of the FY 2007 in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quota for imported raw cane sugar, refined sugar, specialty sugar and sugar-containing products. In addition, USTR is providing notice of Agreement between the United States and Mexico on Market Access for Sweeteners.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of Reviews and Request for Public Comments
Legislation authorizing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program expires on December 31, 2006. In connection with Congress' consideration of reauthorization of the program, the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) requested public comments on October 6, 2005, relating to whether the Administration's operation of the program should be changed so that benefits are not focused on trade from a few countries and that developing countries that traditionally have not been major traders under the program receive benefits. Based on information obtained thus far, the TPSC has decided to initiate a further review and request additional comments to determine whether major beneficiaries of the program have expanded exports or have progressed in their economic development within the meaning of the statute to the extent that their eligibility should be limited, suspended, or withdrawn, pursuant to section 502(d) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)). For the purpose of identifying beneficiary countries that are subject to this review and on which we are seeking comments, the TPSC looked at a country's total volume of trade under the GSP program, the World Bank's classification of the country's level of income, and the country's share of world goods exports. The TPSC is also conducting a review of existing competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers and requesting comments on whether any waivers should be terminated, pursuant to section 503(d)(5) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(5)), because they are no longer warranted due to changed circumstances. All public comments must be received by September 5, 2006.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Request for Public Comments on the Possible Withdrawal or Suspension of GSP Benefits With Respect to Romania
As part of an ongoing country practice review, the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is considering whether to recommend that duty-free treatment accorded to imports from Romania under the U.S. GSP program be withdrawn or suspended on the grounds that Romania affords preferential treatment to the products of a developed country, other than the United States, which has, or is likely to have, a significant adverse effect on United States commerce. In addition, Romania adopted Veterinary Order 95 which includes requirements that: (1) Individual U.S. poultry plants must be approved for export to the EU; and (2) U.S. poultry producers must abide by EU welfare rules for slaughter. There are no EU-approved poultry facilities in the United States. The GSP Subcommittee is seeking public comments on whether, in view of the information provided in the petition, implementation of this new measure, and any additional information pertaining to the eligibility criteria set forth in the statute, Romania no longer meets one or more statutory criteria for GSP eligibility. All public comments must be received by Thursday, September 7, 2006.
WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States-Customs Bond Directive for Merchandise Subject to Anti-Dumping/Countervailing Duties
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (``USTR'') is providing notice that on June 6, 2006, India requested consultations with the United States under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (``WTO Agreement'') concerning certain issues relating to Customs Bond Directive 99-3510- 004, as amended by the Amendment to Bond Directive 99-3510-004 (July 9, 2004), and clarifications and amendments thereof. That request may be found at http://www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/ DS345/1. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.
Determinations Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has determined that Burkina Faso has adopted an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent unlawful transshipment and the use of counterfeit documents in connection with shipments of textile and apparel articles and has implemented and follows, or is making substantial progress toward implementing and following, the customs procedures required by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Therefore, imports of eligible products from Burkina Faso qualify for the textile and apparel benefits provided under the AGOA.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Notice of Difficulty in Receiving Petitions for the 2006 Annual GSP Product and Country Practices Review
This notice identifies those petitions that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) received by the deadline of July 20, 2006, for consideration in the 2006 Annual Review. Because of technical difficulties in receiving petitions, USTR requests parties who submitted petitions prior to July 20, 2006, to review the list of petitioners included in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION and to notify the USTR of any petitions that were submitted to the GSP Subcommittee by 5 p.m., July 20, 2006, but not included in that list.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of a Review To Consider the Designation of East Timor as a Least Developed Beneficiary Developing Country Under the GSP
This notice announces the initiation of a review to consider the designation of East Timor as a least developed beneficiary developing country under the GSP program and solicits public comment relating to the designation criteria. Comments are due on August 25, 2006, in accordance with the requirements for submissions, explained below.