[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 19, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16908-16910]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06229]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE


2012 Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Product Review: 
Inviting Public Comments on Possible Actions Related to Competitive 
Need Limitations

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice and solicitation of comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of full 2012 calendar 
year import statistics relating to competitive need limitations (CNLs) 
under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The Office 
of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will accept public 
comments submitted by April 12, 2013, regarding: (1) Possible de 
minimis CNL waivers; (2) possible redesignations of articles currently 
not eligible for GSP benefits because they previously exceeded the CNL 
thresholds; and (3) potential revocation of CNL waivers.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tameka Cooper, GSP Program, Office of 
the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street NW., Room 422, 
Washington, DC 20508. The telephone number is (202) 395-6971, the fax 
number is (202) 395-9674, and the email address is [email protected].

DATES: Public comments are due by 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 12, 2012.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Statutory Provisions Related to CNLs

    The GSP program provides for the duty-free importation of 
designated articles when imported from designated beneficiary 
developing countries (BDCs). The GSP program is authorized by Title V 
of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2461, et seq.), as amended (``the 
1974 Act'').
    Section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act sets out the two CNLs. When 
the President determines that a BDC exported to the United States 
during a calendar year either: (1) A quantity of a GSP-eligible article 
having a value in excess of the applicable amount for that year ($155 
million for 2012), or (2) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having

[[Page 16909]]

a value equal to or greater than 50 percent of the value of total U.S. 
imports of the article from all countries (the ``50 percent'' CNL), the 
President must terminate GSP duty-free treatment for that article from 
that BDC by no later than July 1 of the next calendar year, unless a 
waiver is granted. As announced in a December 28, 2012, Federal 
Register notice (FRN), petitions for CNL waivers are being considered 
under a separate timeline than that of the actions on CNLs set forth in 
this FRN.
    De minimis waivers: Under section 503(c)(2)(F) of the 1974 Act, the 
President may waive the 50 percent CNL with respect to an eligible 
article imported from a BDC if the value of total imports of that 
article from all countries during the calendar year did not exceed the 
applicable de minimis amount for that year ($21 million for 2012).
    Redesignations: Under section 503(c)(2)(C) of the 1974 Act, if 
imports of an eligible article from a BDC ceased to receive duty-free 
treatment due to exceeding a CNL in a prior year, the President may, 
subject to the considerations in sections 501 and 502 of the 1974 Act, 
redesignate such an article for duty-free treatment if imports in the 
most recently completed calendar year did not exceed the CNLs.
    CNL waiver revocation: Under Section 503(d)(5) of the 1974 Act, a 
CNL waiver remains in effect until the President determines that it is 
no longer warranted due to changed circumstances. Section 
503(d)(4)(B)(ii) of the 1974 Act, as amended by Public Law 109-432, 
also provides that, ``[n]ot later than July 1 of each year, the 
President should revoke any waiver that has then been in effect with 
respect to an article for five years or more if the beneficiary 
developing country has exported to the United States (directly or 
indirectly) during the preceding calendar year a quantity of the 
article--(I) having an appraised value in excess of 1.5 times the 
applicable amount set forth in subsection (c)(2)(A)(ii) for that 
calendar year ($232.5 million in 2012); or (II) exceeding 75 percent of 
the appraised value of the total imports of that article into the 
United States during that calendar year.''
    Exclusions from GSP duty-free treatment where CNLs have been 
exceeded will be effective July 1, 2013, unless granted a waiver by the 
President. Any CNL-based exclusions, CNL waiver revocations, and 
decisions with respect to de minimis waivers and redesignations will be 
based on full 2012 calendar year import data.

II. 2012 Import Statistics

    In order to provide notice of articles that have exceeded the CNLs 
for 2012 and to afford an opportunity for comment regarding (1) 
potential de minimis waivers, (2) redesignations, and (3) the potential 
revocation of waivers for articles exceeding the CNL waiver thresholds 
for 2012, USTR has posted product lists on the USTR Web site at http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/trade-development/preference-programs/generalized-system-preferences-gsp/current-review under the title 
``2012 GSP Annual Product Review: Import Statistics Relating to 
Competitive Need Limitations, Potential Revocations, De Minimis 
Waivers, and Product Redesignations.'' These lists can also be found at 
www.regulations.gov in Docket Number USTR-2012-0013. Full 2012 calendar 
year data for individual tariff subheadings may also be viewed on the 
Web site of the U.S. International Trade Commission at http://dataweb.usitc.gov.
    The lists available on the USTR Web site contain, for each article, 
the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 
and BDC country of origin, the value of imports of the article for the 
2012 calendar year, and the percentage of total imports of that article 
from all countries.
    The lists published on the USTR Web site are for informational 
purposes only. They may not include all articles to which the GSP CNLs 
may apply. All determinations and decisions regarding the CNLs of the 
GSP program will be based on full 2012 calendar year import data with 
respect to each GSP-eligible article. Each interested party is advised 
to conduct its own review of 2012 import data with respect to the 
possible application of the GSP CNL provisions.
    List I on the USTR Web site shows GSP-eligible articles from BDCs 
that exceeded a CNL by having been exported in excess of $155 million, 
or in a quantity equal to or greater than 50 percent of the total U.S. 
import value, in 2012. These products will be removed from eligibility 
for GSP for the subject countries on July 1, 2013, unless the President 
grants a waiver for the product for the subject country in response to 
a petition filed by an interested party. Such petitions for CNL waivers 
must have been previously submitted in the 2012 GSP Annual Review. (See 
77 FR 44704 and 77 FR 76594.) The last column in List I shows those 
products for which petitions have been accepted and are now under 
review.
    List II identifies GSP-eligible articles from BDCs that are above 
the 50 percent CNL, but that are eligible for a de minimis waiver of 
the 50 percent CNL. Articles eligible for de minimis waivers are 
automatically considered in the GSP annual review process, without the 
filing of a petition. Public comments (including comments in support of 
or in opposition to de minimis waivers) are invited in accordance with 
the Requirements for Submissions set out below.
    List III shows GSP-eligible articles from certain BDCs that are 
currently not receiving GSP duty-free treatment, but that may be 
considered for GSP redesignation based on 2012 trade data and 
consideration of certain statutory factors. Recommendations to the 
President on redesignations are normally made as part of the GSP annual 
review process, and public comments (including comments in support of 
or in opposition to redesignations) are invited in accordance with the 
Requirements for Submissions below.
    List IV shows articles subject to CNL waiver revocation based on 
the provisions of Section 503(d)(4)(B)(ii) of the 1974 Act, as amended 
by Public Law 109-432. Recommendations to the President on revocation 
of these waivers will be made as part of the 2012 GSP annual review 
process, and public comments (including comments in support of or in 
opposition to revocations of CNL waivers) are invited in accordance 
with the Requirements for Submissions below.

III. Public Comments

Requirements for Submissions

    Written comments submitted in response to this notice must be 
submitted electronically by 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 12, 2013 using 
www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2012-0013. Instructions for 
submitting business confidential versions are provided below. Hand-
delivered submissions will not be accepted. Comments must be submitted 
in English to the Chairman of the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy 
Staff Committee. All submissions for the GSP Annual Review must conform 
to the GSP regulations set forth at 15 CFR part 2007, except as 
modified below. These regulations are available on the USTR Web site at 
http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/trade-development/preference-programs/generalized-system-preference-gsp/gsp-program-inf. Any person or party 
making a submission is strongly advised to review the GSP regulations 
as well as the GSP Guidebook, which is available at the same link.

[[Page 16910]]

    To make a submission using www.regulations.gov, enter the docket 
number in the ``Search for'' field on the home page and click 
``Search.'' The site will provide a search-results page listing all 
documents associated with this docket number. Find a reference to this 
notice by selecting ``Notice'' under ``Document Type'' in the ``Filter 
Results by'' section on the left side of the screen and click on the 
link entitled ``Comment Now.'' The www.regulations.gov Web site offers 
the option of providing comments by filling in a ``Type Comment'' field 
or by attaching a document using the ``Upload file(s)'' field. The GSP 
Subcommittee prefers that submissions be provided in an attached 
document. At the beginning of the submission, or on the first page (if 
an attachment), please note that the submission is in response to this 
notice and provides comments on the product(s) described in the notice. 
Submissions should not exceed 30 single-spaced, standard letter-size 
pages in 12-point type, including attachments. Any data attachments to 
the submission should be included in the same file as the submission 
itself, and not as separate files.
    Each submitter will receive a submission tracking number upon 
completion of the submissions procedure at www.regulations.gov. The 
tracking number will be the submitter's confirmation that the comments 
were received into www.regulations.gov. The confirmation should be kept 
for the submitter's records. USTR is not able to provide technical 
assistance for the Web site. Documents not submitted in accordance with 
these instructions may not be considered in this review. If unable to 
provide submissions as requested, please contact the GSP Program at 
USTR to arrange for an alternative method of transmission.

Business Confidential Submissions

    An interested party requesting that information contained in a 
submission be treated as business confidential information must certify 
that such information is business confidential and would not 
customarily be released to the public by the submitter. Confidential 
business information must be clearly designated as such. The submission 
must be marked ``BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL'' at the top and bottom of the 
cover page and each succeeding page, and the submission should 
indicate, via brackets, the specific information that is confidential. 
Additionally, ``Business Confidential'' must be included in the ``Type 
Comment'' field. For any submission containing business confidential 
information, a non-confidential version must be submitted separately 
(i.e., not as part of the same submission with the confidential 
version), indicating where confidential information has been redacted. 
The non-confidential version will be placed in the docket and open to 
public inspection.
    Submissions in response to this notice, except for information 
granted ``business confidential'' status under 15 CFR 2003.6, will be 
available for public viewing pursuant to 15 CFR 2007.6 at http://www.regulations.gov upon completion of processing, usually within two 
weeks of the relevant due date. Such submissions may be viewed by 
entering the country-specific docket number in the search field at: 
http://www.regulations.gov.

William D. Jackson,
Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Generalized System 
of Preferences, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2013-06229 Filed 3-18-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-F3-P