Initiation of Section 301 Investigation; Hearing; and Request for Public Comments: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation
The United States Trade Representative has initiated an investigation pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the Trade Act), to determine whether acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are actionable under the Trade Act. The inter- agency Section 301 Committee is holding a public hearing and seeking comments in connection with this investigation.
Determination Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has determined that Togo has adopted an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent the unlawful transshipment of textile and apparel articles and the use of counterfeit documents in connection with the shipment of such articles, and has implemented and follows, or is making substantial progress towards implementing and following, the custom procedures required by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Therefore, imports of eligible products from Togo qualify for the textile and apparel benefits provided under the AGOA.
Request for Comment on the Costs and Benefits to U.S. Industry of U.S. International Government Procurement Obligations for Report to the President on “Buy American and Hire American”
Section 3(e) of the Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American directs the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative to assess the impacts of all United States free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) on the operation of Buy American Laws, including their impacts on the implementation of domestic procurement preferences. The Executive Order can be found here: https:// www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/18/presidential-e xecutive- order-buy-american-and-hire-american. In response to this Executive Order, the Department of Commerce (Department) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) are conducting industry outreach in order to better understand how the U.S. government procurement obligations under all U.S. free trade agreements and the GPA affect U.S. manufacturers' and suppliers' access to and participation in the domestic government procurement process. In addition, because reciprocal access to trading partners' markets is an important motivation for including government procurement obligations in U.S. free trade agreements and for the United States' membership in the GPA, the Department and the USTR are also seeking information about the costs and benefits of these obligations to U.S. manufacturers and suppliers competing in U.S. trading partners' government procurement markets. The trading partners with which the United States has international government procurement obligations are: Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the European Union (which includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Mexico, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore, Switzerland, and Ukraine. The Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative are required to conclude the assessment called for under Section 3(e) by September 15, 2017. Responses to this notice will be considered in the assessment as well as in the final report of findings and recommendations to strengthen the implementation of Buy American Laws that the Secretary of Commerce will submit to the President of the United States by November 24, 2017.
2017 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets: Comment Request
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requests written comments that identify online and physical markets based outside the United States that should be included in the 2017 Notorious Markets List (List). Conducted under the auspices of the Special 301 program, the List identifies online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. In 2010, USTR began publishing the Notorious Markets List separately from the annual Special 301 Report as an ``Out-of-Cycle Review.''
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of the 2017 Annual GSP Product and Country Practices Review; Deadlines for Filing Petitions; Notice of Change in Country Practices Hearing
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will consider petitions to modify the list of articles that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. USTR is extending the previously announced hearing on Bolivia's country practices to include a second day to provide interested parties with an opportunity to submit testimony on the following country practice petitions accepted in previous years that continue to be under review: Argentina, Ecuador, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, Thailand, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. USTR will announce the procedures to receive petitions requesting waivers of competitive need limitations (CNLs) and the schedule for a public hearing on the product review petitions and any new country practice petitions in the Federal Register at a later date.
Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning Russia's Implementation of Its WTO Commitments
The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will convene a public hearing and seeks comments to assist the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the preparation of its annual report to Congress on Russia's implementation of its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Reallocation of Unused Fiscal Year 2017 Tariff-Rate Quota Volume for Raw Cane Sugar
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice of country-by-country reallocations of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 in-quota quantity of the World Trade Organization (WTO) tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for imported raw cane sugar.
Fiscal Year 2017 Allocation of Additional Tariff-Rate Quota Volume for Raw Cane Sugar
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice of country-by-country allocations of additional Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for imported raw cane sugar as announced by Secretary of Agriculture on July 25, 2017.
Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning China's Compliance With WTO Commitments
The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is seeking comments and will convene a public hearing to assist the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to prepare its annual report to Congress on China's compliance with the commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Request for Comments To Compile the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
Section 181 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, requires the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) annually to publish the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE). The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is asking interested persons to submit written comments to assist the TPSC in identifying significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment for inclusion in the NTE. Section 1377 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (Section 1377) requires USTR annually to review the operation and effectiveness of all U.S. trade agreements regarding telecommunications products and services that are in force with respect to the United States. USTR will consider written comments in response to this notice regarding the trade barriers pertinent to the conduct of the review called for in Section 1377.