Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Notice of Initiation of the 2011 Annual GSP Product and Country Practices Review; Deadlines for Filing Petitions
This notice announces that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is prepared to receive petitions to modify the list of products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP program and to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. The deadline for submission of country practice petitions for the 2011 Annual Review is 5 p.m., December 5, 2011. The deadline for submission of product petitions, other than those requesting competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers, is 5 p.m., December 5, 2011. The deadline for submission of petitions requesting CNL waivers is 5 p.m., Friday, December 16, 2011. Decisions on which of the petitions that are submitted are accepted for review will be announced in the Federal Register at later dates.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Notice of Actions Arising Out of the 2010 Annual GSP Review
In September 2010, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) accepted petitions in connection with the 2010 GSP Annual Review to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. In November 2010, USTR accepted petitions requesting waivers of GSP competitive need limitations (CNLs). On January 1, 2011, authorization of the GSP program lapsed. Following the recent reauthorization of the GSP program, the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) announces that it has accepted for review a country practices petition submitted for the 2010 GSP Annual Review regarding the Republic of Georgia. This notice sets forth the schedule for submitting comments and conducting the public hearing on the newly accepted petition, requesting to participate in the hearing, and submitting pre- hearing and post-hearing briefs. The deadline for submitting pre- hearing comments and requesting participation in the hearing is 5 p.m., January 10, 2012. The petition can be found in docket USTR-2010-0017 at http://www.regulations.gov. This notice also announces that in view of the lapse in authorization of the GSP program through much of 2011, there will be no actions taken in 2011 with respect to CNLs, including no CNL-related removals of products from GSP eligibility and no redesignations of products currently subject to CNLs. Petitions previously accepted that requested waivers of CNL-related exclusions based on 2010 trade data are hereby dismissed.
North American Free Trade Agreement; Invitation for Applications for Inclusion on the Chapter 19 Roster
Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (``NAFTA'') provides for the establishment of a roster of individuals to serve on binational panels convened to review final determinations in antidumping or countervailing duty (``AD/CVD'') proceedings and amendments to AD/CVD statutes of a NAFTA Party. The United States annually renews its selections for the Chapter 19 roster. Applications are invited from eligible individuals wishing to be included on the roster for the period April 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013.
Revised Fiscal Year 2011 Tariff-Rate Quota Allocations for Refined Sugar
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice of additional country-by-country allocations of the fiscal year (FY) 2011 in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for imported refined sugar for entry through November 30, 2011.
Notice of Meeting of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business (ITAC-11)
The Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business (ITAC-11) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The meeting will be opened to the public from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Section 306 Monitoring of Paraguay: Memorandum of Understanding on Intellectual Property Rights: Request for Public Comment
In January 1998, the USTR designated Paraguay as a Priority Foreign Country in the 1998 Special 301 Report. A Section 301 investigation was initiated in February 1998, and was suspended in November 1998 after the United States and Paraguay successfully entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Intellectual Property Rights. USTR subsequently announced that the MOU would be monitored through Section 306 of the Trade Act of 1974. USTR hereby requests written submissions from the public concerning Paraguay's implementation of the MOU on Intellectual Property Rights, and additional actions that Paraguay should take, if any, to improve the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
2011 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets: Request for Public Comments
In 2010 the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) began publishing the notorious market list as an ``Out of Cycle Review'' separately from the annual Special 301 report. This review of Notorious Markets (``Notorious Markets List'') results in the publication of examples of Internet and physical markets that have been the subject of enforcement action or that may merit further investigation for possible intellectual property infringements. The Notorious Markets List does not represent a finding of violation of law, but rather is a summary of information that serves to highlight the problem of marketplaces that deal in infringing goods and which help sustain global piracy and counterfeiting. USTR is hereby requesting written submissions from the public identifying potential Internet and physical notorious markets that exist outside the United States and that may be included in the 2011 Notorious Markets List.
Request for Public Comments on Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act
The African Growth and Opportunity Act Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (the ``Subcommittee'') is requesting written public comments for the annual review of the eligibility of sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (the AGOA). The Subcommittee will consider these comments in developing recommendations on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year 2012 for the President. Comments received related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor in the preparation of the Department of Labor's report on child labor as required under section 412(c) of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. This notice identifies the eligibility criteria that must be considered under the AGOA, and lists those sub- Saharan African countries that are currently eligible for the benefits of the AGOA and those that were ineligible for such benefits in 2011.
Notice and Request for Comments: Two-Year Extension of Softwood Lumber Agreement
The U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (``SLA'' or ``the Agreement'') entered into force on October 12, 2006 and is currently scheduled to expire on October 12, 2013. The SLA includes a provision for extension of the Agreement for an additional two years. The United States is considering extending the SLA through October 12, 2015. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on the possible extension of the Agreement.
The Trade and Investment Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa
In his May 19, 2011, speech on recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the President called for a Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative to explore ways to further strengthen economic ties both between the United States and MENA countries and among the MENA countries themselves. Over the coming months, the United States, partnering where possible with the European Union and other key countries and entities, will launch a series of initiatives to facilitate more robust trade within the region and promote greater MENA integration with U.S. and other markets. To ensure that a wide range of priorities and concerns are addressed, U.S. Government officials will continue to reach out to business, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and other stakeholders in order to elicit ideas for shaping future economic engagement with this critical region. As part of this process, the U.S. Government welcomes written input from members of the public on ideas for deepening economic ties with and among MENA countries.
WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States-Anti-Dumping Measures on Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From China
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (``USTR'') is providing notice that on July 22, 2011, the People's Republic of China requested consultations with the United States under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (``WTO Agreement'') concerning anti-dumping measures regarding diamond sawblades and parts thereof from China. That request may be found at http://www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS422/1/ Add.1. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in China's July 22, 2011 consultation request.
Request for Public Comments on Interim Review of Eligibility of Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Niger for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act
The African Growth and Opportunity Act Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (the ``Subcommittee'') is requesting written public comments for the interim review of the eligibility of Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Niger to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Subcommittee will consider these comments in developing recommendations on AGOA country eligibility for the President. Comments received related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor for the preparation of the Department of Labor's report on child labor as required under section 412(c) of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. This notice identifies the eligibility criteria that must be considered under the AGOA. Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Niger are currently ineligible for AGOA benefits.
Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning China's Compliance With WTO Commitments
The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will convene a public hearing and seek public comment to assist the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the preparation of its annual report to the Congress on China's compliance with the commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Request for Public Comments To Compile the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers and Reports on Sanitary and Phytosanitary and Standards-Related Foreign Trade Barriers
Pursuant to section 181 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2241), the Office of the United States Trade Representative (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 persons to submit comments to assist it in identifying significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment for inclusion in the NTE. Once again, the TPSC is requesting that comments on standards- related measures and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures that create barriers to U.S. exports be submitted separately from other NTE comments. This will assist USTR in updating two reports issued in 2011 in conjunction with the release of the NTE highlighting SPS and standards-related measures that may be inconsistent with international trade agreements to which the United States is a party or that otherwise act as significant barriers to U.S. exports. These reports were published as the 2011 Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (2011 SPS Report) and the 2011 Report on Technical Barriers to Trade (2011 TBT Report) respectively. The TPSC invites written comments from the public on issues that USTR should examine in preparing the NTE and the reports on SPS and standards-related measures.
Fiscal Year 2012 Tariff-Rate Quota Allocations for Raw Cane Sugar, Refined and Specialty Sugar and Sugar-Containing Products
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice of country-by-country allocations of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quotas for imported raw cane sugar, refined and specialty sugar and sugar-containing products.
Trade Policy Staff Committee; Public Comments on the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act: Report to Congress
The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is seeking the views of interested parties on the operation of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), as amended by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) (19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Section 212(f) of the CBERA, as amended, requires the President to submit a report to Congress regarding the operation of the CBERA and CBTPA (together commonly referred to as the Caribbean Basin Initiative, or CBI) on or before December 31, 2001, and every two years thereafter. The TPSC invites written comments concerning the operation of the CBI, including comments on the performance of each CBERA and CBTPA beneficiary country, as the case may be, under the criteria described in sections 212(b), 212(c), and 213(b)(5)(B) of the CBERA, as amended. This information will be used in the preparation of a report to the U.S. Congress on the operation of the program.