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 June 23, 2009, the People's Republic of China (“China”) requested the establishment of a panel under the Marrakesh Start Printed Page 32683Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (“WTO Agreement”) with respect to certain measures affecting the import of poultry products from China into the United States. That request may be found at http://www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS392/2. 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 settlement proceedings, comments should be submitted on or before September 15 to be assured of timely consideration by USTR.
Public comments should be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2009-0014. If you are unable to provide submissions by http://www.regulations.gov, please contact Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-9483 to arrange for an alternative method of transmission. If (as explained below) the comment contains confidential information, then the comment should be submitted by fax only to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
David Yocis, Associate General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508, (202) 395-9663.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 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”). 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 by China
In its request for the establishment of a panel, China challenges section 727 of division A of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), which prohibits the use of funds appropriated under that Act from being used to establish or implement a rule allowing poultry products to be imported into the United States from China. According to China, section 727 effectively prohibits the U.S. Department of Agriculture from establishing or implementing measures allowing for the importation from China of poultry products or taking actions to expand the class of poultry products from China eligible for import into the United States. China alleges that the United States thus imposes a moratorium on the consideration, approval, and implementation of actions that would be necessary under U.S. law for China to export poultry products to the United States. China claims that these measures amount to a quantitative restriction in breach of Article XI:1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (“GATT 1994”) and Article 4.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture. In addition, China alleges that by imposing this restriction with respect to imports from China, but not those of other WTO Members, the United States acts inconsistently with Article I:1 of the GATT 1994. Finally, China claims that, to the extent that some or all of these U.S. measures are sanitary or phytosanitary measures within the meaning of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, they are inconsistent with Articles 2.1-2.3, 3.1, 3.3, 5.1-5.7, and 8 of that agreement.
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-2009-0014. If you are unable to provide submissions 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-2009-0014 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 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 confidential information must be submitted by fax. 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.Start Printed Page 32684
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 open to public inspection may be viewed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site.Start Signature
Assistant United States Trade Representative for Monitoring and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. E9-16061 Filed 7-7-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-W9-P