Office of the United States Trade Representative December 2011 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

2012 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment and Announcement of Public Hearing
Document Number: 2011-33289
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-28
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
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 2012, USTR 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 as to whether a particular trading partner should be identified as a priority foreign country under Section 182 of the Trade Act, or be placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. Interested parties, including foreign governments, wishing 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.
Determination of Trade Surplus in Certain Sugar and Syrup Goods and Sugar-Containing Products of Chile, Morocco, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru
Document Number: 2011-33139
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-27
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
In accordance with relevant provisions of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice of its determination of the trade surplus in certain sugar and syrup goods and sugar-containing products of Chile, Morocco, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru. As described below, the level of a country's trade surplus in these goods relates to the quantity of sugar and syrup goods and sugar-containing products for which the United States grants preferential tariff treatment under (i) the United StatesChile Free Trade Agreement (Chile FTA), in the case of Chile; (ii) the United StatesMorocco Free Trade Agreement (Morocco FTA), in the case of Morocco; (iii) the Dominican RepublicCentral AmericaUnited States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), in the case of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and (iv) the United StatesPeru Trade Promotion Agreement (Peru TPA), in the case of Peru.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Notice of Review of Certain Pending Country Practice Petitions
Document Number: 2011-31829
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-12
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
As part of past GSP annual reviews, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) accepted for review petitions to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. This notice announces the schedule for submissions and a public hearing on the ongoing reviews of outstanding country practice petitions related to concerns about internationally recognized worker rights and/or child labor in Bangladesh, Niger, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan. In addition, the hearing will include testimony on a country practice petition related to the Republic of Georgia. (See 76 FR 67530.)
Procurement Thresholds for Implementation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979
Document Number: 2011-31512
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-08
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
Executive Order 12260 requires the United States Trade Representative to set the U.S. dollar thresholds for application of Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), which implements U.S. trade agreement obligations, including those under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement, Chapter 15 of the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Australia FTA), Chapter 9 of the United States- Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Bahrain FTA), Chapter 9 of the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Chile FTA), Chapter 9 of the Dominican Republic-Central American-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), Chapter 9 of the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Morocco FTA), Chapter 10 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Chapter 9 of the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Oman FTA), Chapter 9 of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S.-Peru TPA), and Chapter 13 of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Singapore FTA). These obligations apply to covered procurements valued at or above specified U.S. dollar thresholds. Now, therefore, I, Ronald Kirk, United States Trade Representative, in conformity with the provisions of Executive Order 12260, and in order to carry out U.S. trade agreement obligations under the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, Chapter 15 of the U.S.-Australia FTA, Chapter 9 of the U.S.-Bahrain FTA, Chapter 9 of the U.S.-Chile FTA, Chapter 9 of DR-CAFTA, Chapter 9 of the U.S.-Morocco FTA, Chapter 10 of NAFTA, Chapter 9 of the U.S.-Oman FTA, Chapter 9 of the U.S.-Peru TPA, and Chapter 13 of the U.S.-Singapore FTA, do hereby determine, effective on January 1, 2012: For the calendar years 2012 and 2013, the thresholds are as follows:
Request for Comments on Japan's Expression of Interest in the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
Document Number: 2011-31322
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-07
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
Japanese Prime Minister Noda recently announced Japan's intention to begin consultations with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries towards joining the TPP negotiations. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is assessing Japan's expression of interest in the TPP negotiations in light of the TPP's high standards for liberalizing trade and specific issues of concern to the United States regarding Japanese barriers to agriculture, services, and manufacturing trade, including non-tariff measures. In conducting its assessment, USTR is seeking public comments on these concerns and all other elements related to Japan's interest in the TPP negotiations.
Request for Comments on Mexico's Expression of Interest in the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
Document Number: 2011-31318
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-07
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
Mexican Economy Secretary Bruno Ferrari recently stated Mexico's intention to begin consultations with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries towards joining the TPP negotiations. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is assessing Mexico's expression of interest in the TPP negotiations in light of the TPP's high standards for liberalizing trade and specific issues of concern to the United States regarding Mexican barriers to agriculture, services, and manufacturing trade, including non-tariff measures. In conducting its assessment, USTR is seeking public comments on these concerns and all other elements related to Mexico's interest in the TPP negotiations.
Request for Comments on Canada's Expression of Interest in the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
Document Number: 2011-31317
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-07
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently stated Canada's intention to begin consultations with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries towards joining the TPP negotiations. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is assessing Canada's expression of interest in the TPP negotiations in light of the TPP's high standards for liberalizing trade and specific issues of concern to the United States regarding Canadian barriers to agriculture, services, and manufacturing trade, including non-tariff measures. In conducting its assessment, USTR is seeking public comments on these concerns and all other elements related to Canada's interest in the TPP negotiations.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Extension of Deadlines for Filing Petitions for the 2011 Annual GSP Product and Country Practices Review
Document Number: 2011-31316
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-07
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
The deadlines for submission of all petitions for consideration as part of the 2011 Annual GSP Product and Country Practices Review are extended to December 30, 2011.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Import Statistics Relating to Competitive Need Limitations
Document Number: 2011-30934
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-01
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
This notice is to inform the public of the availability of import statistics for the first nine months of 2011 relating to competitive need limitations (CNLs) under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. These import statistics identify some articles for which the 2011 trade levels may exceed statutory CNLs. Interested parties may find this information useful in deciding whether to submit a petition to waive the CNLs for individual beneficiary developing countries (BDCs) with respect to specific GSP-eligible articles. As previously announced in the Federal Register (76 FR 67531 (November 1, 2011)), the deadline for submission of product petitions to waive the CNLs for individual BDCs with respect to GSP-eligible articles is 5 p.m., December 16, 2011.