Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Notice; request for comments.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) is providing notice that on March 9, 2009, Mexico requested the establishment of a panel under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (“WTO Agreement”) concerning U.S. limitations on the use of a dolphin-safe label for tuna and tuna products. That request may be found at http://www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS381/4. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.
Although USTR will accept any comments received during the course of the dispute, comments should be submitted on or before May 30, 2009 to be assured of timely consideration by USTR.
Comments should be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2008-0038. If you are unable to provide submissions by http://www.regulations.gov, please contact Sandy McKinzy at (202) 295-9483 to arrange for an alternative method of transmission. If (as explained below) the comment contains confidential information, then the comment should be submitted only by fax to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Amy Karpel, Associate General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC, (202) 395-3150.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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 Start Printed Page 18434of 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”). 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 Issue Raised by Mexico
In its panel request, Mexico challenges three U.S. measures: (1) The Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (19 U.S.C. 1385); (2) certain dolphin-safe labeling regulations (50 CFR 216.91-92); and (3) the Ninth Circuit decision in Earth Island v. Hogarth, 494 F. 3d. 757 (9th Cir. 2007), and alleges that these measures have the effect of prohibiting Mexican tuna and tuna products from being labeled dolphin-safe. Specifically, Mexico alleges that its tuna and tuna products are accorded less favorable treatment than like products of national origin and like products originating in other countries and are not immediately and unconditionally accorded any advantage, favor, privilege, or immunity granted to like products in other countries. Mexico further alleges that the U.S. measures create unnecessary obstacles to trade, are not based on an existing international standard, and are maintained although their objectives can be addressed in a less trade restrictive manner. Mexico alleges that the U.S. measures appear to be inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, Articles I:1 and III:4, and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, Articles 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4.
Public Comment: Requirements for Submissions
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning the issues raised in this dispute. Persons may submit public comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov docket number USTR-2008-0038. If you are unable to provide submission by http://www.regulations.gov, please contact Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-9483 to arrange for an alternative method of transmission.
To submit comments via http://www.regulations.gov, enter docket number USTR-2008-0038 on the home page and click “go”. The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice by selecting “Notice” under “Document Type” on the left side of the search-results page, and click on the link entitled “Send a Comment or Submission.” (For further information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site, please consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on “How to Use This Site” on the left side of the home page.) The http://www.regulations.gov site provides the option of providing comments by filling in a “General Comments” field, or by attaching a document. It is expected that most comments will be provided in an attached document. If a document is attached, it is sufficient to type “See attached” in the “General Comments” field.
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. Any comment containing business confidential information must be submitted only by fax to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640. A non-confidential summary of the confidential information must be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov. The non-confidential summary will be placed in the docket and open to public inspection.
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) Must provide a non-confidential summary of the information or advice. Any comment containing information submitted in confidence must be submitted only by fax to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640. A non-confidential summary of the confidential information must be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov. The non-confidential summary will be placed in the docket and open to public inspection.
USTR will maintain a docket on this dispute settlement proceeding, accessible to the public. The public file will include non-confidential comments received by USTR from the public with respect to the dispute; if a dispute settlement panel is convened or in the event of an appeal from such a panel, the U.S. submissions, any non-confidential 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.
Comments will be placed in the docket and open to public inspection pursuant to 15 CFR 2006.13, except confidential business information exempt from public inspection in accordance with 15 CFR 2006.15 or information determined by USTR to be confidential in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 2155(g)(2). Comments may be viewed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site by entering docket number USTR-2008-0038 in the search field on the home page.Start Signature
Assistant United States Trade Representative for Monitoring and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. E9-9152 Filed 4-21-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-W9-P