Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Request for comments and notice of public hearing concerning Start Printed Page 44784China's compliance with its WTO commitments.
The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will convene a public hearing and seek public comment to assist the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the preparation of its annual report to the Congress on China's compliance with the commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Persons wishing to testify at the hearing must provide written notification of their intention, as well as a copy of their testimony, by noon, Thursday, September 18, 2008. Written comments are due by noon, Monday, September 22, 2008. A hearing will be held in Washington, DC, on Thursday, October 2, 2008.
Submissions by electronic mail: FR0810@ustr.eop.gov.
Submissions by facsimile: Gloria Blue, Executive Secretary, Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States Trade Representative, (202) 395-6143. The public is strongly encouraged to submit documents electronically rather than by facsimile. (See requirements for submissions below.)Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For procedural questions concerning written comments or participation in the public hearing, contact Gloria Blue, (202) 395-3475. All other questions should be directed to Terrence J. McCartin, Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for China Enforcement, (202) 395-3900, or Claire E. Reade, Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement, (202) 395-9625.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
China became a Member of the WTO on December 11, 2001. In accordance with section 421 of the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-286), USTR is required to submit, by December 11 of each year, a report to Congress on China's compliance with commitments made in connection with its accession to the WTO, including both multilateral commitments and any bilateral commitments made to the United States. In accordance with section 421, and to assist it in preparing this year's report, the TPSC is hereby soliciting public comment. Last year's report is available on USTR's Internet Web site (at http://www.ustr.gov/World_Regions/North_Asia/China/Section_Index.html).
The terms of China's accession to the WTO are contained in the Protocol on the Accession of the People's Republic of China (including its annexes) (Protocol), the Report of the Working Party on the Accession of China (Working Party Report), and the WTO agreements. The Protocol and Working Party Report can be found on the Department of Commerce Web page, http://www.mac.doc.gov/China/WTOAccessionPackage.htm, or on the WTO Web site, http://docsonline.wto.org (document symbols: WT/L/432, WT/MIN(01)/3, WT/MIN(01)/3/Add.1, WT/MIN(01)/3/Add.2).
2. Public Comment and Hearing
USTR invites written comments and/or oral testimony of interested persons on China's compliance with commitments made in connection with its accession to the WTO, including, but not limited to, commitments in the following areas: (a) Trading rights; (b) import regulation (e.g., tariffs, tariff-rate quotas, quotas, import licenses); (c) export regulation; (d) internal policies affecting trade (e.g., subsidies, standards and technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, trade-related investment measures, taxes and charges levied on imports and exports); (e) intellectual property rights (including intellectual property rights enforcement); (f) services; (g) rule of law issues (e.g., transparency, judicial review, uniform administration of laws and regulations) and status of legal reform; and (h) other WTO commitments. In addition, given the Administration's view that China should be held accountable as a full participant in, and beneficiary of, the international trading system (see “U.S.-China Trade Relations: Entering a New Phase of Greater Accountability and Enforcement,” issued by USTR in February 2006, http://www.ustr.gov/World_Regions/North_Asia/China/2006_Top-to-Bottom_Review/Section_Index.html), USTR requests that interested persons also specifically identify unresolved compliance issues that warrant review and evaluation by USTR's China Enforcement Task Force.
Written comments must be received no later than noon, Monday, September 22, 2008.
A hearing will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2008, in Room 1, 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508. If necessary, the hearing will continue on the next day.
Persons wishing to testify orally at the hearing must provide written notification of their intention by noon, Thursday, September 18, 2008. The notification should include: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the person presenting the testimony; and (2) a short (one or two paragraph) summary of the presentation, including the commitments at issue and, as applicable, the product(s) (with HTSUS numbers), service sector(s), or other subjects to be discussed. A copy of the testimony must accompany the notification. Remarks at the hearing should be limited to no more than five minutes to allow for possible questions from the TPSC.
All documents should be submitted in accordance with the instructions in section 3 below.
3. Requirements for Submissions
In order to facilitate prompt processing of submissions, USTR strongly urges and prefers electronic (e-mail) submissions in response to this notice. In the event that an e-mail submission is impossible, submissions should be made by facsimile.
Persons making submissions by e-mail should use the following subject line: “China WTO” followed by (as appropriate) “Written Comments,” “Notice of Testimony,” or “Testimony.” Documents should be submitted as either Adobe PDF, WordPerfect, MSWord, or text (.TXT) files. Supporting documentation submitted as spreadsheets is acceptable as Quattro Pro or Excel. For any document containing business confidential information submitted electronically, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters “BC-”, and the file name of the public version should begin with the characters “P-”. The “P-” or “BC-” should be followed by the name of the submitter. Persons who make submissions by e-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.
Written comments, notices of testimony, and testimony will be placed in a file open to public inspection pursuant to 15 CFR 2003.5, except for confidential business information exempt from public inspection in accordance with 15 CFR 2003.6. Confidential business information submitted in accordance with 15 CFR 2003.6 must be clearly marked “BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL” at the top of each page, including any cover letter or cover page, and must be accompanied by a nonconfidential summary of the confidential information. All public documents and nonconfidential summaries shall be available for public Start Printed Page 44785inspection in the USTR Reading Room. The USTR Reading Room is open to the public, by appointment only, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. An appointment to review the file may be made by calling (202) 395-6186. Appointments must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.
General information concerning USTR may be obtained by accessing its Internet Web site (http://www.ustr.gov).Start Signature
Chairman, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. E8-17574 Filed 7-30-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-W8-P