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.