[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 222 (Thursday, November 18, 2010)]
[Pages 70770-70771]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-29112]



Request for Comments Concerning Compliance With 
Telecommunications Trade Agreements

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice of request for public comment and reply comment.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 1377 of the Omnibus Trade and 
Competitiveness Act of 1988 (19 U.S.C. 3106) (`Section 1377'), the 
United States Trade Representative (``USTR'') is reviewing and requests 
comments on the operation, effectiveness, and implementation of and 
compliance with the following agreements regarding telecommunications 
products and services of the United States: the World Trade 
Organization (``WTO'') General Agreement on Trade in Services; the 
North American Free Trade Agreement (``NAFTA''); U.S. free trade 
agreements (``FTAs'') with Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Morocco, Oman, 
Peru, and Singapore; and the Dominican Republic-Central America-United 
States Free Trade Agreement (``CAFTA-DR''). The USTR will conclude the 
review by March 31, 2011.

DATES: Comments are due by noon on December 17, 2010 and reply comments 
by noon on January 14, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Gloria Blue, Executive Secretary, Trade Policy Staff 
Committee, or Catherine Hinckley, Director, Telecom Trade Policy, ATTN: 
Section 1377 Comments, Office of the United States Trade 
Representative, 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Hinckley, Office of Services 
and Investment (202) 395-9539; or Will Martyn, Office of the General 
Counsel (202) 395-3582.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1377 requires the USTR to review 
annually the operation and effectiveness of all U.S. trade agreements 
regarding telecommunications products and services that are in force 
with respect to the United States. The purpose of the review is to 
determine whether any act, policy, or practice of a country that has 
entered into an FTA or other telecommunications trade agreement with 
the United States is inconsistent with the terms of such agreement or 
otherwise denies U.S. firms, within the context of the terms of such 
agreements, mutually advantageous market opportunities for 
telecommunications products and services. For the current review, the 
USTR seeks comments on:
    (1) Whether any WTO member is acting in a manner that is 
inconsistent with its obligations under WTO agreements affecting market 
opportunities for telecommunications products or services, e.g., the 
WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, including the Agreement on 
Basic Telecommunications Services, the

[[Page 70771]]

Annex on Telecommunications, and any scheduled commitments, including 
the Reference Paper on Pro-Competitive Regulatory Principles;
    (2) Whether Canada or Mexico has failed to comply with its 
telecommunications obligations under the NAFTA;
    (3) Whether Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, 
Guatemala, Honduras, or Nicaragua has failed to comply with its 
telecommunications obligations under the CAFTA-DR;
    (4) Whether Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Morocco, Oman, Peru, or 
Singapore has failed to comply with its telecommunications obligations 
under its FTA with the United States (see http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements for links to U.S. FTAs);
    (5) Whether any country has failed to comply with its obligations 
under telecommunications trade agreements with the United States other 
than FTAs, e.g., Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for Conformity 
Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment (see http://gsi.nist.gov/global/index.cfm/L1-4/L2-16 for links to certain U.S. 
telecommunications MRAs);
    (6) Whether any act, policy, or practice of a country cited in a 
previous section 1377 review remains unresolved (see http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/services-investment/telecom-e-commerce/section-1377-review for recent reviews); and
    (7) Whether any measures or practices impede access to 
telecommunications markets or otherwise deny telecommunications 
products and services market opportunities with respect to any country 
that is a WTO member or for which an FTA or telecommunications trade 
agreement has entered into force between such country and the United 
States. Measures or practices of interest include, for example, efforts 
by a foreign government or a telecommunications service provider to 
block services delivered over the Internet (including, but not limited 
to voice over Internet protocol services, social networking, and search 
services); requirements for access to or use of networks that limit the 
products or services U.S. suppliers can offer in specific foreign 
markets; the imposition of excessively high licensing fees; 
unreasonable wholesale roaming rates that mobile telecommunications 
services suppliers in specific foreign markets charge U.S. suppliers 
that seek to supply international mobile roaming services to their U.S. 
customers; discriminatory procedures that foreign governments apply in 
allocating or allowing use of spectrum or other scarce resources; and 
the imposition by foreign governments of unnecessary or discriminatory 
technical regulations or standards for telecommunications products or 

Public Comment and Reply Comment: Requirements for Submission

    Comments in response to this notice must be written in English, 
must identify (on the first page of the comments) the 
telecommunications trade agreement(s) discussed therein, and must be 
submitted electronically by 5 p.m. on December 17, 2010. Reply comments 
must also be in English and must be submitted by 5 p.m. on January 14, 
2011. Comments and reply comments, with the exception of business 
confidential comments, must be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2010-0034. Instructions for 
submitted business confidential versions are provided below. In the 
unusual case where submitters are unable to make submissions through 
Regulations.gov, the submitter must contact Gloria Blue at (202) 395-
3475 to make alternate arrangements.
    To submit comments using http://www.regulations.gov, enter docket 
number USTR-2010-0034 under ``Key Word or ID'' 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'' on the search-
results page, and click on the link entitled ``Submit a Comment.'' 
Follow the instructions given on the screen to submit a 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.

Business Confidential Submissions

    Persons wishing to submit business confidential information must 
submit that information by fax to (202) 395-3891. Business confidential 
submissions will not be accepted at http://www.regulations.gov. The 
submitter must include in the comments a written explanation of why the 
information should be protected in accordance with 15CFR 2007.7(b).
    In addition, a non-confidential version of the comments must be 
submitted to http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2010-0034. 
The submission must indicate, 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'' 
    Business confidential comments that are submitted without the 
required markings or that do not have a properly marked non-
confidential version submitted to regulations.gov as set forth above 
may not be accepted or may be treated as public documents.
    Submitters should provide updated information on all issues they 
cite in their filings; USTR will not review submissions that are copies 
of earlier submissions.

Carmen Suro-Bredie,
Chair, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. 2010-29112 Filed 11-17-10; 8:45 am]