Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Notice and solicitation of public comment.
This notice announces the initiation of a review to consider designating the Republic of Maldives as a beneficiary developing country for purposes of the GSP program, and solicits public comments on whether Maldives meets the eligibility criteria for designation as a beneficiary developing country. Comments are due by Friday, October 16, 2009, and must be submitted in accordance with the requirements set out below.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tameka Cooper, GSP Program, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508. The telephone number is (202) 395-6971, the fax number is (202) 395-2961, and the e-mail address is Tameka_Cooper@ustr.eop.gov.
Public versions of all documents relating to this review will be made available for public viewing in docket USTR-2009-0030 at http://www.regulations.gov upon completion of processing and no later than approximately two weeks after the due date.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Maldives' GSP eligibility was suspended in 1995 because, following a review by the Trade Policy Staff Committee, it was determined that Maldives had not taken and was not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in Maldives. The review was initiated in 1993 in response to a petition filed by the AFL-CIO.
Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding the eligibility of the Republic of Maldives for designation as a GSP beneficiary developing country. Documents should be submitted in accordance with the below instructions to be considered in this review.
The trade benefits of the GSP program are available to any country that the President designates as a beneficiary developing country for purposes of the GSP program. In designating countries as beneficiary developing countries, the President must consider the criteria in sections 502(b) and 502(c) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2462(b) and 2462(c)) (the “Act”).
Section 502(b)(2) provides that, in determining whether to designate any country as a GSP beneficiary developing country, the President shall not designate any country a beneficiary developing country if any of the following applies:Start Printed Page 47984
1. Such country is a Communist country, unless—
(a) The products of such country receive nondiscriminatory treatment, (b) Such country is a WTO Member (as such term is defined in section 2(10) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act) (19 U.S.C. 3501 (10)) and a member of the International Monetary Fund, and (c) Such country is not dominated or controlled by international communism.
2. Such country is a party to an arrangement of countries and participates in any action pursuant to such arrangement, the effect of which is—
(a) To withhold supplies of vital commodity resources from international trade or to raise the price of such commodities to an unreasonable level, and (b) To cause serious disruption of the world economy.
3. Such country affords preferential treatment to the products of a developed country, other than the United States, which has, or is likely to have, a significant adverse effect on United States commerce.
4. Such country—
(a) Has nationalized, expropriated, or otherwise seized ownership or control of property, including patents, trademarks, or copyrights, owned by a United States citizen or by a corporation, partnership, or association which is 50 percent or more beneficially owned by United States citizens, (b) Has taken steps to repudiate or nullify an existing contract or agreement with a United States citizen or a corporation, partnership, or association which is 50 percent or more beneficially owned by United States citizens, the effect of which is to nationalize, expropriate, or otherwise seize ownership or control of property, including patents, trademarks, or copyrights, so owned, or (c) Has imposed or enforced taxes or other exactions, restrictive maintenance or operational conditions, or other measures with respect to property, including patents, trademarks, or copyrights, so owned, the effect of which is to nationalize, expropriate, or otherwise seize ownership or control of such property, unless the President determines that—
(i) Prompt, adequate, and effective compensation has been or is being made to the citizen, corporation, partnership, or association referred to above, (ii) Good faith negotiations to provide prompt, adequate, and effective compensation under the applicable provisions of international law are in progress, or the country is otherwise taking steps to discharge its obligations under international law with respect to such citizen, corporation, partnership, or association, or (iii) A dispute involving such citizen, corporation, partnership, or association over compensation for such a seizure has been submitted to arbitration under the provisions of the Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, or in another mutually agreed upon forum, and the President promptly furnishes a copy of such determination to the Senate and House of Representatives.
5. Such country fails to act in good faith in recognizing as binding or in enforcing arbitral awards in favor of United States citizens or a corporation, partnership, or association which is 50 percent or more beneficially owned by United States citizens, which have been made by arbitrators appointed for each case or by permanent arbitral bodies to which the parties involved have submitted their dispute.
6. Such country aids or abets, by granting sanctuary from prosecution to, any individual or group which has committed an act of international terrorism or the Secretary of State makes a determination with respect to such country under section 6(j)(1)(A) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. Appx. section 2405(j)(1)(A)) or such country has not taken steps to support the efforts of the United States to combat terrorism.
7. Such country has not taken or is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country (including any designated zone in that country).
8. Such country has not implemented its commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.
Section 502(c) provides that, in determining whether to designate any country as a GSP beneficiary developing country, the President shall take into account:
1. An expression by such country of its desire to be so designated;
2. The level of economic development of such country, including its per capita gross national product, the living standards of its inhabitants, and any other economic factors which the President deems appropriate;
3. Whether or not other major developed countries are extending generalized preferential tariff treatment to such country;
4. The extent to which such country has assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets and basic commodity resources of such country and the extent to which such country has assured the United States that it will refrain from engaging in unreasonable export practices;
5. The extent to which such country is providing adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights;
6. The extent to which such country has taken action to—
(a) Reduce trade distorting investment practices and policies (including export performance requirements); and (b) Reduce or eliminate barriers to trade in services; and
7. Whether or not such country has taken or is taking steps to afford to workers in that country (including any designated zone in that country) internationally recognized worker rights. The term “internationally recognized worker rights” is defined in section 507(4) of the Act, as amended, (19 U.S.C. 2467), to mean: (A) The right of association; (B) the right to organize and bargain collectively; (C) a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labor; (D) a minimum age for the employment of children and a prohibition on the worst forms of child labor as defined in section 507(6) of the Act; and (E) acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.
Requirements for Submissions
Submissions in response to this notice must be submitted electronically by 5 p.m., Tuesday, October 13, 2009, using http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2009-0030. Instructions for business confidential versions are provided below. Hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted. Submissions must be submitted in English to the Chairman of the GSP Subcommittee, Trade Policy Staff Committee, by the applicable deadlines set forth in this notice.
To make a submission using http://www.regulations.gov, enter docket number USTR-2009-0030 on the home page and click “Search.” The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Locate the reference to this notice by selecting “Notices” under “Document Type”. In the results table below, click on the “Send a Comment” link that corresponds to this notice. Follow the instructions given on the screen to submit the comment. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site offers the option of providing comments by filling in a “Type Comment” field or by attaching a document. While both options are acceptable, USTR prefers submissions in the form of an attachment.
Comments must be in English, with the total submission not to exceed 30 Start Printed Page 47985single-spaced standard letter-size pages in 12-point type, including attachments. Any data attachments to the submission should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files.
Business Confidential Petitions
Persons wishing to submit business confidential information must submit that information by electronic mail to FR0807@ustr.eop.gov. Business confidential submissions will not be accepted at http://www.regulations.gov. For any document containing business confidential information submitted as a file attached to an e-mail transmission, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters “BC.” The “BC” should be followed by the name of the party (government, company, union, association, etc.) that is making the submission.
If a comment contains business confidential information that the submitter wishes to protect from public disclosure, the confidential submission must be marked “Business Confidential” at the top and bottom of each page. In addition, the submission must be accompanied by a non-confidential version that indicates, with asterisks, where confidential information was redacted or deleted. The top and bottom of each page of the non-confidential version must be marked either “Public Version” or “Non-Confidential”. The file name of the public version should begin with the characters “P”. The “P” should be followed by the name of the party (government, company, union, association, etc.) that is making the submission.
Business confidential comments that are submitted without the required markings or that are not accompanied by a properly marked non-confidential version as set forth above may not be accepted or may be treated as public documents.Start Signature
Marideth J. Sandler,
Executive Director for the GSP Program, Chairman, GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. E9-22525 Filed 9-17-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-W9-P