[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 160 (Monday, August 19, 2013)]
[Pages 50481-50482]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20074]



Request for Public Comments Regarding the National Trade Estimate 
Report on Foreign Trade Barriers

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 181 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended 
(19 U.S.C. 2241), the Office of the United States Trade Representative 
(USTR) is required to publish annually the National Trade Estimate 
Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE). With this notice, the Trade 
Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is requesting interested persons to 
submit comments to assist it in identifying significant barriers to 
U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment for 
inclusion in the NTE. The TPSC invites written comments from the public 
on issues that USTR should examine in preparing the NTE.
    In 2014, USTR expects to once again release in conjunction with the 
NTE report two reports dealing with additional trade barriers--one on 
SPS measures and one on standards-related measures. USTR will invite 
written comments from the public on issues that should be examined in 
preparing those two reports through publication of a separate Notice in 
the Federal Register that will be forthcoming. Information regarding 
such measures should NOT be submitted in response to this Notice.

DATES: Public comments are due not later than 11:59 p.m., October 22, 

ADDRESSES: Submissions should be made via the Internet at 
www.regulations.gov docket number USTR-2013-0027. For alternatives to 
on-line submissions please contact Yvonne Jamison (202-395-3475). The 
public is strongly encouraged to file submissions electronically rather 
than by facsimile or mail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions regarding the NTE or on 
submitting comments in response to this notice should be directed to 
Yvonne Jamison at (202-395-3475).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NTE sets out an inventory of the most 
important foreign barriers affecting U.S. exports of goods and 
services, U.S. foreign direct investment, and protection of 
intellectual property rights. The inventory facilitates U.S. 
negotiations aimed at reducing or eliminating these barriers. The 
report also provides a valuable tool in enforcing U.S. trade laws and 
strengthening the rules-based trading system. The 2013 NTE Report may 
be found on USTR's Internet Home Page (http://www.ustr.gov) under the 
tab ``Reports''. To ensure compliance with the NTE's statutory mandate 
and the Obama Administration's commitment to focus on the most 
significant foreign trade barriers, USTR will be guided by the 
existence of active private sector interest in deciding which 
restrictions to include in the NTE.
    Topics on which the TPSC Seeks Information: To assist USTR in 
preparing the NTE, commenters should submit information related to one 
or more of the following categories of foreign trade barriers:
    (1) Import policies (e.g., tariffs and other import charges, 
quantitative restrictions, import licensing, and customs barriers);
    (2) Government procurement restrictions (e.g.,``buy national 
policies'' and closed bidding);
    (3) Export subsidies (e.g., export financing on preferential terms 
and agricultural export subsidies that displace U.S. exports in third 
country markets);
    (4) Lack of intellectual property protection (e.g., inadequate 
patent, copyright, and trademark regimes or enforcement issues);
    (5) Services barriers (e.g., limits on the range of financial 
services offered by foreign financial institutions, regulation of 
international data flows, restrictions on the use of data processing, 
quotas on imports of foreign films, and barriers to the provision of 
services by professionals);
    (6) Investment barriers (e.g., limitations on foreign equity 
participation and on access to foreign government-funded R&D consortia, 
local content, technology transfer and export performance requirements, 
and restrictions on repatriation of earnings, capital, fees, and 
    (7) Government-tolerated anticompetitive conduct of state-owned or 
private firms that restrict the sale or purchase of U.S. goods or 
services in the foreign country's markets;
    (8) Trade restrictions affecting electronic commerce (e.g., tariff 
and non-tariff measures, burdensome and discriminatory regulations and 
standards, and discriminatory taxation); and
    (9) Other barriers (e.g., barriers that encompass more than one 
category, such as bribery and corruption, or that affect a single 
    In addition, commenters are invited to identify those barriers 
covered in their submissions that may operate as ``localization 
barriers to trade''. Localization barriers are measures designed to 
protect, favor, or stimulate domestic industries, services providers, 
and or intellectual property at the expense of goods services or 
intellectual property from other countries. For more information on 
localization barriers, please go to http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/localization-barriers.
    In responding to this notice, commenters should place particular 
emphasis on any practices that they believe may violate U.S. trade 
agreements. The TPSC is also interested in receiving new or updated 
information pertinent to the barriers covered in the 2013 NTE as well 
as information on new barriers. Even if USTR does not include in the 
NTE information that it receives pursuant to this notice, it will 
maintain the information for potential use in future discussions or 
negotiations with trading partners.
    Estimate of Increase in Exports: Each comment should include an 
estimate of the potential increase in U.S. exports that would result 
from removing any foreign trade barrier the comment identifies, as well 
as a description of the methodology the commenter used to derive the 
estimate. Estimates should be expressed within the following value 
ranges: Less than $5 million; $5 to $25 million; $25 million to $50 
million; $50 million to $100 million; $100 million to $500 million; or 
over $500 million. These estimates will help USTR conduct comparative 
analyses of a barrier's effect over a range of industries.
    Requirements for Submissions: Commenters providing information on 
foreign trade barriers in more than one country should, whenever 
possible, provide a separate submission for each country. Comments 
addressing SPS or standards-related measures should not be submitted in 
response to this request but should be submitted in response to the 
separate request for comments which will be forthcoming.
    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 docket number USTR-2013-0027.

[[Page 50482]]

    Persons submitting comments must do so in English and must identify 
(on the first page of the submission) ``Comments Regarding the 2014 
National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers.'' In order to 
be assured of consideration, comments should be submitted by 11:59 
p.m., October 22, 2013. In order to ensure the timely receipt and 
consideration of comments, USTR strongly encourages commenters to make 
on-line submissions, using the www.regulations.gov Web site. To submit 
comments via www.regulations.gov, enter docket number USTR-2013-0027 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 and click on the link entitled ``Comment 
Now!'' (For further information on using the www.regulations.gov Web 
site, please consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking 
on ``How to Use This Site'' on the left side of the home page).
    The www.regulations.gov Web site allows users to provide comments 
by filling in a ``Type Comment'' field, or by attaching a document 
using an ``Upload File'' field. USTR prefers that comments be provided 
in an attached document. If a document is attached, please identify the 
name of the country to which the submission pertains in the ``Type 
Comment'' field. For example: ``See attached comments with respect to 
(name of country)''. 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 
``Type Comment'' 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 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.
    As noted, USTR strongly urges submitters to file comments through 
www.regulations.gov, if at all possible. Any alternative arrangements 
must be made with Ms. Jamison in advance of transmitting a comment. Ms. 
Jamison should be contacted at (202) 395-3475. General information 
concerning USTR is available at www.ustr.gov.
    Comments will be placed in the docket and open to public 
inspection, except confidential business information. Comments may be 
viewed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site by entering the 
relevant docket number in the search field on the home page.

Douglas M. Bell,
Chair, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. 2013-20074 Filed 8-16-13; 8:45 am]