[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 189 (Friday, September 28, 2012)]
[Pages 59702-59703]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23613]



Promoting U.S. EC Regulatory Compatibility

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Request for comments from the Public.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Government and European Commission (EC) share the 
goal of reducing excessive regulatory costs, unjustified regulatory 
differences, and unnecessary red tape while respecting each other's 
right to protect public health, safety, welfare, and the environment. 
Promoting this goal will help businesses to grow, create jobs, and 
compete globally. Enhanced cooperation will also help the United States 
to achieve its regulatory objectives in a more effective and efficient 
manner. The United States and EC have agreed to solicit comments from 
the public on how to promote greater transatlantic regulatory 
compatibility generally. Concrete ideas on how greater compatibility 
could be achieved in a particular economic sector are also requested.

DATES: In order to ensure timely consideration, written comments should 
be submitted no later than October 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Weiner, Deputy Assistant U.S. 
Trade Representative for Europe, (202) 395-9679, or Kate J. 
Kalutkiewicz, Director for European Affairs, (202) 395-9460, Office of 
the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20508.


    Transatlantic trade and investment constitute the largest economic 
relationship in the world, a relationship that is vital to the strength 
of our economies. The United States and the European Union (EU) are 
committed to identifying new ways to strengthen this vibrant economic 
partnership. During their November 28, 2011 Summit meeting, U.S. and EU 
leaders established the High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth and 
tasked it to identify policies and measures to increase trade and 
investment to support mutually beneficial job creation, economic 
growth, and competitiveness, working closely with public and private 
sector stakeholder groups, and drawing on existing dialogues and 
mechanisms, as appropriate. The challenges posed by efforts to improve 
regulatory cooperation between the EU and the United States should not 
be underestimated. But there are reasons to be optimistic. Significant 
progress has been made in the HLRCF and also recently in the 
Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), where the EU and the United 
States cooperate on future regulations affecting new and innovative 
growth markets and technologies. As we continue in the High Level 
Working Group on Jobs and Growth to examine the possibility of 
negotiations on horizontal and sectoral regulatory issues, we seek to 
continue to make progress through the HLRCF and the TEC with the help 
of additional information from the public. Your detailed input will b 
euseful when we define our priorities and explore next steps in the 
U.S.-EU High Level Regulatory Cooperation Forum (HLRCF) and contribute 
to the work of the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth 
(HLWG). It will help us to identify both immediate and longer-term 
goals and mechanisms to accomplish them. We plan to explore these and 
other issues at a meeting in the fall involving EU and U.S. regulators, 
economic policy agencies, and stakeholders.
    In that regard, the U.S. Government and EC invite your views on how 
to promote greater transatlantic regulatory compatibility generally. We 
also invite you to share your concrete ideas on how greater 
compatibility could be achieved in a particular economic sector by 
providing detailed information for that sector, including:
     Names of the relevant regulatory agencies in the EU and 
the United States;
     Citations to the relevant regulatory and/or statutory 
provisions for each jurisdiction (this is not meant to exclude 
potential cooperation in areas where neither jurisdiction has yet 
adopted such provisions);
     A description of the regulatory differences to be 
addressed (including any information on negative effects of these 
differences and on the entities or stakeholders affected by them);
     Possible solutions for bridging these differences 
(including both the substance of the solution--please be as specific as 
possible--and the proposed procedure for reaching it);
     Any steps that the EU and/or the United States should 
consider to address horizontal and/or sectoral differences between the 
two jurisdictions that may be impeding deeper regulatory compatibility 
in the sector--for example, differences with respect to technical 
regulations or in our respective approaches to standards; and
     An assessment of the effects of enhanced regulatory 
compatibility (quantified benefits and costs, if possible, or else 
qualitative descriptions), the likelihood of these effects occurring, 
and the time period over which they would occur.
    We encourage trade association respondents, where possible, to 
submit views jointly with counterparts across the Atlantic.
    Submissions: To facilitate expeditious handling, the public is 
strongly encouraged to submit documents electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2012-0028. Submissions should 
contain the term ``U.S.-EU Regulatory Compatability'' in the ``Type 
comment & Upload file:'' field on http://www.regulations.gov. 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

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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. USTR 
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.

Daniel Mullaney,
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East.
[FR Doc. 2012-23613 Filed 9-27-12; 8:45 am]