[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 228 (Monday, November 25, 1996)]
[Pages 59920-59921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-30013]



Request for Public Comments on the Negotiation of a Bilateral 
Trade Agreement Between the United States and the Socialist Republic of 

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is 
providing notice that the United States is in the process of 
negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with the Socialist Republic of 
Vietnam. USTR invites comments from the public on how the trade 
agreement can be used to address concerns or goals of U.S. persons and 
businesses with respect to trade with Vietnam. Comments in particular 
might address current Vietnamese practices that affect(a) market access 
for U.S. exports, such as tariffs and non-tariff measures, (b) trade 
and investment in services; and (c) any

[[Page 59921]]

other measure that impedes trade in goods and services with the United 
States. Comments received will be considered in developing U.S. 
positions and objectives in the process of negotiating the bilateral 
trade agreement.

DATES: Comments should be submitted on or before noon on Monday, 
December 16, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted to Joseph Damond, Director for 
Southeast Asia, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 600 17th 
Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20508.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph Damond, Director for Southeast 
Asia, at (202) 395-6813, or Thomas Robertson, Associate General 
Counsel, at (202) 395-6800.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States is currently in the 
process of negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam. That 
agreement will be subject to the terms of Title IV of the Trade Act of 
1974, as amended (19 USC 401 et seq.), which defines the terms of trade 
relations with non-market economies. Title IV mandates that bilateral 
trade agreements between the United States and countries subject to its 
provisions address a number of issues, including (1) suspension or 
termination for national security reasons, (2) safeguard arrangements, 
(3) the protection of intellectual property rights, (4) the settlement 
of commercial differences and disputes, (5) the promotion of trade, and 
(6) consultations. In addition to these provisions, the trade agreement 
may address other issues, including the following: the grant of most-
favored-nation treatment and national treatment to the products of the 
other country; the grant of trading rights; the elimination of market 
access barriers (e.g., tariffs, import and export restrictions, quotas, 
licensing requirements, customs valuation, and fees and charges); the 
transparency of legal and regulatory regimes; state trading and 
industrial subsidies; government procurement; trade-related investment 
measures; trade in services; and investment restrictions..

    USTR invites written comments from the public on market access and 
any other issues to be addressed in the course of the negotiations with 
Vietnam on the bilateral trade agreement. All comments will be 
considered in developing U.S. positions and objectives during these 
negotiations on each of the issues noted above or otherwise raised by 
the public. Issues of interest might include, but are not necessarily 
limited to: (a) comments on possible tariff reductions and the removal 
of border measures such as quotas or import licensing requirements; (b) 
uniform application of the trading system; (c) the provision of 
national treatment and nondiscriminatory treatment for imports, 
especially in the area of domestic taxation; (d) transparency in 
application of trade laws and regulations; (e) right of appeal in cases 
involving application of trade laws and other laws concerning trade-
related issues, such as protection and enforcement of intellectual 
property rights (IPR), foreign investment and services; (f) customs 
processing issues, such as document certification prior to export, 
fees, customs valuation, and certification requirements; (g) subsidies 
and domestic support and incentives; (h) safeguard and unfair trade 
practice procedures applied to imports; (i) plant, animal, and human 
health and safety requirements; (j) food standards and other technical 
barriers to trade; (k) activities of state trading enterprises, 
including restrictions and other trade-distorting practices; (l) price 
controls and policies; (m) government procurement practices; and (n) 
the trade-related aspects of investment policies and the protection and 
enforcement of IPRs. Market access issues for services include, but are 
not limited to, the right of establishment for U.S. services providers, 
the ability to provide services on a cross-border basis, and the 
ability of persons to enter temporarily to provide services. 
Information on products or practices subject to these negotiations 
should include, whenever appropriate, the relevant import or export 
tariff classification number used.

Public Comment: Requirements for Submissions

    Comments must be in English and provided with fifteen copies. 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 commenting party. 
Confidential business information must be clearly marked ``BUSINESS 
CONFIDENTIAL'' in a contrasting color ink at the top of each page of 
each copy.
    A person requesting that information or advice contained in a 
comment submitted by that person, other than business confidential 
information, be treated as confidential in accordance with section 
135(g)(2) of the Trade Act of 1974(19 U.S.C. 2155)--
    (1) Must so designate that information or advice;
    (2) Must clearly mark the material as ``CONFIDENTIAL'' in a 
contrasting color ink at the top of each page of each copy; and
    (3) Is encouraged to provide a non-confidential summary of the 
information or advice.
    USTR will maintain a file containing the public versions of 
comments, accessible to the public, in the USTR Reading Room: Room 101, 
Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, 
N.W., Washington DC 20508. The public file will include a listing of 
any comments made to USTR from the public with respect to the 
proceeding. An appointment to review the public file may be made by 
calling Brenda Webb, (202) 395-6186. The USTR Reading Room is open to 
the public from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through 
Jennifer Hillman,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 96-30013 Filed 11-22-96; 8:45 am]