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Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Trade Agreements-New Thresholds (DFARS Case 2007-D023)

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AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

DoD has issued an interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to incorporate increased dollar thresholds for application of the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement and the Free Trade Agreements, as determined by the United States Trade Representative.

DATES:

Effective date: January 24, 2008.

Comment date: Comments on the interim rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before March 24, 2008, to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by DFARS Case 2007-D023, using any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

E-mail: dfars@osd.mil. Include DFARS Case 2007-D023 in the subject line of the message.

Fax: 703-602-7887.

Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Amy Williams, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), IMD 3D139, 3062 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3062.

Hand Delivery/Courier: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Crystal Square 4, Suite 200A, 241 18th Street, Arlington, VA 22202-3402.

Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Amy Williams, 703-602-0328.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

This interim rule amends the clause prescriptions at DFARS 225.1101 and 225.7503 to reflect increased dollar thresholds for application of the trade agreements. Every two years, the trade agreements thresholds are escalated according to a pre-determined formula set forth in the agreements. The United States Trade Representative has specified the following new thresholds, as published at 72 FR 71166 on December 14, 2007, and corrected at 72 FR 73904 on December 28, 2007:

Trade agreementSupply contract (equal to or exceeding)Construction contract (equal to or exceeding)
World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement$194,000$7,443,000
Free Trade Agreements:
Australia Free Trade Agreement67,8267,443,000
Bahrain Free Trade Agreement194,0008,817,449
Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua)67,8267,443,000
Chile Free Trade Agreement67,8267,443,000
Morocco Free Trade Agreement194,0007,443,000
North American Free Trade Agreement:
Canada$25,0008,817,449
Mexico67,8268,817,449
Singapore Free Trade Agreement67,8267,443,000

This rule was not subject to Office of Management and Budget review under Executive Order 12866, dated September 30, 1993.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

DoD does not expect this rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the trade agreement threshold changes are designed to keep pace with inflation and thus maintain the status quo. Therefore, DoD has not performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. DoD invites comments from small businesses and other interested parties. DoD also will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected DFARS subparts in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Such comments should be submitted separately and should cite DFARS Case 2007-D023.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule affects the certification and information collection requirements in the provisions at DFARS 252.225-7020 and 252.225-7035, currently approved under Office of Management and Budget Control Number 0704-0229. The impact, however, is negligible. The dollar threshold changes are in line with inflation and maintain the status quo.

D. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

A determination has been made under the authority of the Secretary of Defense, that urgent and compelling reasons exist to publish an interim rule prior to affording the public an opportunity to comment. This interim rule incorporates increased dollar thresholds for application of the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement and the Free Trade Agreements, as determined by the United States Trade Representative. The increased thresholds became effective on January 1, 2008. Comments received in response to this interim rule will be considered in the formation of the final rule.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 225

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Michele P. Peterson,

Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

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Therefore,

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PART 225—FOREIGN ACQUISITION

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 41 U.S.C. 421 and 48 CFR Chapter 1.

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[Amended]
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2. Section 225.1101 is amended as follows:

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a. In paragraph (10)(i) introductory text by removing “$193,000” and adding in its place “$194,000”; and

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b. In paragraphs (10)(i)(A) and (B) by removing “$64,786” and adding in its place “$67,826”.

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3. Section 225.7503 is amended as follows:

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a. In paragraph (a) by removing “$7,407,000” and adding in its place “$7,443,000”; and

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b. By revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:

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Contract clauses.
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(b) Use the clause at 252.225-7045, Balance of Payments Program—Construction Material Under Trade Agreements, in solicitations and contracts for construction to be performed outside the United States with a value of $7,443,000 or more. For acquisitions with a value of $7,443,000 or more, but less than $8,817,449, use the clause with its Alternate I.

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[FR Doc. E8-1103 Filed 1-23-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-08-P