[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 235 (Wednesday, December 7, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76480-76481]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31317]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE


Request for Comments on Canada's Expression of Interest in the 
Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently stated 
Canada's intention to begin consultations with the Trans-Pacific 
Partnership (TPP) countries towards joining the TPP negotiations. The 
Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is assessing 
Canada's expression of interest in the TPP negotiations in light of the 
TPP's high standards for liberalizing trade and specific issues of 
concern to the United States regarding Canadian barriers to 
agriculture, services, and manufacturing trade, including non-tariff 
measures. In conducting its assessment, USTR is seeking public comments 
on these concerns and all other elements related to Canada's interest 
in the TPP negotiations.

DATES: Written comments are due by noon, January 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submissions via on-line: http://www.regulations.gov. For 
alternatives to on-line submissions please contact Donald W. Eiss at 
(202) 395-3475.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions concerning requirements 
for written comments, please contact Donald W. Eiss at (202) 395-3475. 
All other questions regarding this notice should be directed to Mary T. 
Smith, Director for Canada, at (202) 395-3412.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    On December 14, 2009, after consulting with relevant Congressional 
committees, USTR notified Congress of the President's intent to 
initiate negotiations on a TPP trade agreement. These negotiations aim 
to achieve a high-standard, 21st century agreement with a membership 
and coverage that provides economically significant market access 
opportunities for America's workers, farmers, ranchers, service 
providers, and small businesses and that can expand to include 
additional countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, the 
negotiations include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New 
Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as the United States. 
Further information regarding the TPP negotiations can be found at 
http://www.ustr.gov/tpp.
    On November 13, 2011, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated 
Canada's interest in joining the TPP negotiations. The Chair of the 
interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) invites interested 
persons to provide written comments that will assist USTR in assessing 
Canada's expression of interest in the TPP negotiations in light of the 
TPP's high standards for liberalizing trade and specific issues of 
concern to the United States regarding Canadian barriers to 
agriculture, services, and manufacturing trade, including non-tariff 
measures. Commenters may address these issues or any other specific 
barriers affecting U.S. exports to or investment in Canada. The TPSC 
Chair invites comments on all of these matters, and, in particular, on 
the following:
    (a) Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of 
eliminating tariffs and eliminating or reducing non-tariff barriers on 
goods and services traded with Canada.
    (b) Treatment by Canada of specific goods (described by HTSUS 
numbers), including product-specific import or export interests or 
barriers.
    (c) Adequacy of existing customs measures to ensure that only 
qualifying imported goods from Canada receive preferential treatment, 
and appropriate rules of origin for goods entering the United States.
    (d) Canadian sanitary and phytosanitary measures or technical 
barriers to trade that should be addressed.
    (e) Existing barriers to trade in services between the United 
States and Canada that should be addressed.
    (f) Relevant electronic commerce issues.
    (g) Relevant trade-related intellectual property rights issues.
    (h) Relevant investment issues.
    (i) Relevant competition-related matters.
    (j) Relevant government procurement issues.
    (k) Relevant environmental issues.
    (l) Relevant labor issues.
    (m) Relevant transparency issues.
    (n) Relevant issues related to innovation and competitiveness, new 
technologies and emerging economic sectors, the participation of small- 
and medium-sized businesses in trade, and the development of efficient 
production and supply chains.

Public Comment: Requirements for Submissions

    Persons submitting written comments must do so in English and must 
identify (on the first page of the submission) ``Canada's Expression of 
Interest in the

[[Page 76481]]

Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Negotiations.'' In order to be assured 
of consideration, comments should be submitted by noon, January 13, 
2012.
    In order to ensure the timely receipt and consideration of 
comments, USTR strongly encourages commenters to make on-line 
submissions, using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Comments 
should be submitted under the following docket: USTR-2011-0019. To find 
the docket, enter the docket number in the ``Enter Keyword or ID'' 
window at the http://www.regulations.gov home page and click 
``Search.'' The site will provide a search-results page listing all 
documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice 
by selecting ``Notices'' under ``Document Type'' on the search-results 
page, and click on the link entitled ``Submit a Comment.'' (For further 
information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site, please 
consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on the 
``Help'' tab.)
    The http://www.regulations.gov Web site provides the option of 
making submissions by filling in a comments field, or by attaching a 
document. USTR prefers submissions to be provided in an attached 
document. If a document is attached, it is sufficient to type ``See 
attached'' in the ``Type comment & Upload File'' field. USTR also 
prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). 
If the submission is in an application other than those two, please 
indicate the name of the application in the ``Comments'' field.
    For any comments submitted electronically containing business 
confidential information, the file name of the business confidential 
version should begin with the characters ``BC.'' Any page containing 
business confidential information must be clearly marked ``BUSINESS 
CONFIDENTIAL'' on the top of that page. Filers of submissions 
containing business confidential information must also submit a public 
version of their comments. The file name of the public version should 
begin with the character ``P.'' The ``BC'' and ``P'' should be followed 
by the name of the person or entity submitting the comments or reply 
comments. Filers submitting comments containing no business 
confidential information should name their file using the character 
``P,'' followed by the name of the person or entity submitting the 
comments.
    Please do not attach separate cover letters to electronic 
submissions; rather, include any information that might appear in a 
cover letter in the comments themselves. Similarly, to the extent 
possible, please include any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments in 
the same file as the submission itself, not as separate files.
    USTR strongly urges submitters to file comments through http://www.regulations.gov, if at all possible. Any alternative arrangements 
must be made with Donald W. Eiss in advance of transmitting a comment. 
Mr. Eiss should be contacted at (202) 395-3475. General information 
concerning USTR is available at http://www.ustr.gov.

Douglas Bell,
Chair, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. 2011-31317 Filed 12-6-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-W2-P