[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 16, 2013)]
[Pages 22593-22595]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08813]



Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of a Review 
of the Union of Burma and the Lao People's Democratic Republic for 
Possible Designation as Beneficiary Developing Countries

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice and request for submissions.


SUMMARY: This notice announces (1) the initiation of reviews to 
consider designation of the Union of Burma (Burma) and the Lao People's 
Democratic Republic (Laos) as beneficiary developing countries under 
the GSP program, and, if designated, whether either country should also 
be designated as a least-developed beneficiary developing country under 
GSP, and (2) the schedule for public comments and a public hearing 
relating to whether Burma and/or Laos meet the criteria for both 

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: May 17, 2013: Deadline for submission of comments, pre-hearing 
briefs, and requests to appear at the June 4, 2013 public hearing; 
submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m.

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    June 4, 2013: The GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff 
Committee (TPSC) will convene a public hearing on the GSP eligibility 
reviews of Burma and Laos at 1724 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20508, 
beginning at 9:00 a.m.
    June 25, 2013: Deadline for submission of post-hearing briefs, 
which must be received by 5:00 p.m.

Background Information

    The GSP program is authorized by Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 
(19 U.S.C. 2461, et seq.), as amended. It provides for duty free 
treatment of designated articles imported from any country that the 
President designates as a GSP ``beneficiary developing country.'' 
Additional trade benefits under the GSP are available to any country 
that the President also designates as a GSP ``least-developed 
beneficiary developing country.'' In designating countries as GSP 
beneficiary developing countries, the President must consider the 
criteria in sections 502(b)(2) and 502(c) of the Trade Act of 1974, as 
amended (19 U.S.C. 2462(b)(2), 2462(c)) (``the Act''), including 
definitions found in section 507 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2467). When 
determining whether to designate a country as a least-developed 
beneficiary developing country, the President must consider the factors 
in sections 501 and 502(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2461, 2462(c)). The 
relevant GSP provisions 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.
    Burma was previously designated a beneficiary developing country 
under GSP but its trade benefits under GSP were suspended, effective 
July 1, 1989, as a result of a presidential determination that the 
country was not meeting the statutory GSP eligibility requirements 
regarding internationally recognized worker rights. Laos has not 
previously been considered for eligibility for GSP trade benefits. The 
governments of Burma and Laos, respectively, have each recently 
informed USTR of their interest in being considered for designation as 
eligible for GSP trade benefits.

Notice of Public Hearing

    A hearing will be held by the GSP Subcommittee of the TPSC on 
Tuesday, June 4, 2013, beginning at 9:00 a.m., to receive information 
regarding the eligibility for GSP trade benefits of Burma and Laos. The 
hearing will be held at 1724 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20508 and 
will be open to the public and to the press. A transcript of the 
hearing will be made available on http://www.regulations.gov within 
approximately two weeks of the hearing.
    All interested parties wishing to make an oral presentation at the 
hearing must submit, following the ``Requirements for Submissions'' set 
out below, the name, address, telephone number, and email address, if 
available, of the witness(es) representing their organization by 5 
p.m., May 17, 2013. Requests to present oral testimony must be 
accompanied by a written brief or summary statement, in English, and 
also must be received by 5 p.m., May 17, 2013. Oral testimony before 
the GSP Subcommittee will be limited to five-minute presentations that 
summarize or supplement information contained in briefs or statements 
submitted for the record. Post-hearing briefs or statements will be 
accepted if they conform with the requirements set out below and are 
submitted, in English, by 5 p.m., June 25, 2013. Parties not wishing to 
appear at the public hearing may submit pre-hearing and post-hearing 
briefs or comments by the aforementioned deadlines.
    The GSP Subcommittee strongly encourages submission of all post-
hearing briefs or statements by the June 25, 2013 deadline in order to 
receive timely consideration in the GSP Subcommittee's review of GSP 
eligibility of Burma and Laos. However, if there are new developments 
or information that parties wish to share with the GSP Subcommittee 
after this date, the regulations.gov dockets will remain open until a 
final decision is made. Comments, letters, or other submissions related 
to the relevant country's eligibility review must be posted to the 
appropriate country-specific http://www.regulations.gov docket in order 
to be considered by the GSP Subcommittee.

Requirements for Submissions

    All submissions in response to this notice 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.
    To ensure their timely and expeditious receipt and consideration, 
submissions in response to this notice must be in English and must be 
submitted electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, using docket 
number USTR-2013-0020 for Burma and docket number USTR-2013-0021 for 
Laos. Hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted.
    To make a submission using http://www.regulations.gov, enter the 
country-specific 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. 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 http://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 Federal Register notice and provides comments on the possible 
designation of Burma or Laos as a beneficiary developing country or 
least-developed country beneficiary developing country for purposes of 
the GSP program. 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 http://www.regulations.gov. 
The tracking number will be the submitter's confirmation that the 
submission was received into http://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 an interested party is 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

[[Page 22595]]

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.

Public Viewing of Review Submissions

    Submissions in response to this notice, except for information 
granted ``business confidential'' status under 15 CFR Sec.  2003.6, 
will be available for public viewing pursuant to 15 CFR Sec.  2007.6 at 
http://www.regulations.gov upon completion of processing. 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. 2013-08813 Filed 4-15-13; 8:45 am]