2013 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 (Trade Representative) 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 Trade Act requires the Trade Representative to determine which, if any, of these countries to identify 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, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (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 that rely on intellectual property protection. 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 Trade Representative on issues arising under Special 301. Written submissions from interested persons are a key source of information for the Special 301 review process. In 2013, USTR again 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 deciding 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, wishing to testify at the public hearing must follow the procedures set out below for filing a notice of intent to testify. The deadlines for these procedures are set out below.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Notice Regarding the Disposition of a Product Petition From the 2011 GSP Annual Product Review and the Acceptance of Product Petitions for the 2012 GSP Annual Product Review
This notice announces (1) the disposition of a petition on certain pinch-seal plastic bags, accepted in the 2011 GSP Annual Product Review, and (2) those petitions submitted in connection with the 2012 GSP Annual Product Review which have been accepted for further review. This notice also sets forth the schedule for submitting comments and for public hearings associated with the 2012 review of petitions and products.
WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding Argentina-Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (``USTR'') is providing notice that the United States 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 www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS444/10. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.
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, Peru, Colombia, and Panama
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, Peru, Colombia, and Panama. 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 States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (Chile FTA); (ii) the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (Morocco FTA); (iii) the Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR); (iv) the United States- Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (Peru TPA); (v) the United States- Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (Colombia TPA), and (vi) the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (Panama TPA).
Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA), as Amended: Notice Regarding the 2012 Annual Review
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) received no new petitions in September 2012 to review certain practices in a beneficiary developing country to determine whether such country is in compliance with the ATPA eligibility criteria. USTR received updates related to one matter that is currently under review. This notice specifies the status of the petitions filed in prior years that have remained under review.