[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 148 (Thursday, July 31, 2008)]
[Pages 44783-44785]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-17574]



Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning 
China's Compliance With WTO Commitments

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Request for comments and notice of public hearing concerning

[[Page 44784]]

China's compliance with its WTO commitments.


SUMMARY: 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).

DATES: 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.

ADDRESSES: Submissions by electronic mail: [email protected].
    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.)

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.


1. Background

    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 
    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

[[Page 44785]]

inspection 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).

Carmen Suro-Bredie,
Chairman, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. E8-17574 Filed 7-30-08; 8:45 am]