2011 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment and Announcement of Public Hearing
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 (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. (The provisions of Section 182 are commonly referred to as the ``Special 301'' provisions of the Trade Act.). The USTR is required to determine which, if any, of these countries should be identified as Priority Foreign Countries. Acts, policies, or practices that are the basis of a country's identification as a Priority Foreign Country can be subject to the procedures set out in sections 301-305 of the Trade Act. In addition, USTR has created a ``Priority Watch List'' and ``Watch List'' to assist the Administration in pursuing the goals of the Special 301 provisions. Placement of a trading partner on the Priority Watch List or Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property. Trading partners placed on the Priority Watch List are the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas. USTR chairs an interagency team that reviews information from many sources, and that consults with and makes recommendations to the USTR on issues arising under Special 301. Written submissions from interested persons are a key source of information for the Special 301 review process. In 2011, USTR through the Special 301 Committee will conduct a public hearing as part of the review process. USTR is hereby requesting written submissions from the public concerning foreign countries' acts, policies, or practices that are relevant to the decision on whether a particular trading partner should be identified as a priority foreign country under Section 182 of the Trade Act or placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. Interested parties, including foreign governments, who want to testify at the public hearing must submit a request to testify at the hearing and a short hearing statement. The deadlines for these procedures are set out below. DATES: The schedule for the 2011 Special 301 review is set forth below.