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Notice

WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings Regarding U.S. Domestic Support for Agricultural Products

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) is providing notice that on November 8, 2007, Brazil requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (“WTO Agreement”) regarding U.S. domestic support measures for agricultural products. That request may be found at http://www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS365/13. USTR is also providing notice that on the same date, Canada made a revised request for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel under the WTO Agreement in a similar dispute. Canada's request may be found at http://www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS357/12. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in these disputes.

DATES:

Although USTR will accept any comments received during the course of the consultations, comments should be submitted on or before February 1, 2008 to be assured of timely consideration by USTR.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should be submitted (i) electronically, to FR0705@ustr.eop.gov, with “Agricultural Subsidies (DS357 and 365)” in the subject line, or (ii) by fax, to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640. For documents sent by fax, USTR requests that the submitter provide a confirmation copy to the electronic mail address listed above.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Yocis, Assistant General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC., (202) 395-6150.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 127(b) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) (19 U.S.C. 3537(b)(1)) requires that notice and opportunity for comment be provided after the United States submits or receives a request for the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel. Consistent with this obligation, USTR is providing notice that the establishment of a dispute settlement panel has been requested pursuant to the WTO Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (“DSU”) in each of these disputes. If such a panel is established pursuant to the DSU, such panel, which would hold its meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, would be expected to issue a report on its findings and recommendations within nine months after it is established.

Major Issues Raised

In the requests for the establishment of a panel, Brazil and Canada allege that the United States has provided support to domestic agricultural producers in excess of U.S. commitments with respect to the Aggregate Measurement of Support (“AMS”) as described in Article 6.2 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and the U.S. WTO schedule of commitments. According to Brazil and Canada, the United States has provided domestic support in excess of its AMS commitments in each of the Start Printed Page 68610years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005, in breach of Article 3.2 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. The revised request for the establishment of a panel submitted by Canada supersedes Canada's prior request for the establishment of a panel from Canada (see 72 FR 39,467 (July 18, 2007)), which Canada has withdrawn.

Public Comment: Requirements for Submissions

Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning the issues raised in the disputes. Comments should be submitted (i) electronically, to FR0705@ustr.eop.gov, with “Agricultural Subsidies (DS357 and 365)” in the subject line, or (ii) by fax, to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640. For documents sent by fax, USTR requests that the submitter provide a confirmation copy to the electronic mail address listed above.

USTR encourages the submission of documents in Adobe PDF format as attachments to an electronic mail. Interested persons who make submissions by electronic mail should not provide separate cover letters; information that might appear in a cover letter should be included in the submission itself. Similarly, to the extent possible, any attachments to the submission should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files.

Comments must be in English. A person requesting that information contained in a comment submitted by that person be treated as confidential business information must certify that such information is business confidential and would not customarily be released to the public by the submitter. Confidential business information must be clearly designated as such and the submission must be marked “Business Confidential” at the top and bottom of the cover page and each succeeding page.

Information or advice contained in a comment submitted, other than business confidential information, may be determined by USTR to be confidential in accordance with section 135(g)(2) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2155(g)(2)). If the submitter believes that information or advice may qualify as such, the submitter—

(1) Must clearly so designate the information or advice;

(2) Must clearly mark the material as “Submitted in Confidence” at the top and bottom of the cover page and each succeeding page; and

(3) Is encouraged to provide a non-confidential summary of the information or advice.

Pursuant to section 127(e) of the URAA (19 U.S.C. 3537(e)), USTR will maintain a file on these dispute settlement proceedings, accessible to the public, in the USTR Reading Room, which is located at 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508. The public file will include non-confidential comments received by USTR from the public with respect to the disputes; if a dispute settlement panel is convened or in the event of an appeal from such a panel, the U.S. submissions, the submissions, or non-confidential summaries of submissions, received from other participants in the dispute; the report of the panel; and, if applicable, the report of the Appellate Body. An appointment to review the public file (Docket WTO/DS-357 and DS-365, Ag Subsidies Disputes) may be made by calling the USTR Reading Room at (202) 395-6186. The USTR Reading Room is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Daniel Brinza,

Assistant United States Trade Representative for Monitoring and Enforcement.

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[FR Doc. E7-23575 Filed 12-4-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3190-W8-P