DATES: Written comments are due by midnight, May 10, 2013. Persons wishing to testify orally at the hearing must provide written notification of their intention, as well as a summary of their testimony, by midnight, May 10, 2013. The hearing will be held on May 29 and 30 beginning at 9:30 a.m., at the main hearing room of the United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436.
ADDRESSES: Public comments should be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov. If you are unable to provide submissions at www.regulations.gov, please contact Yvonne Jamison, Trade Policy Staff Committee ("TPSC"), at (202) 395-3475, to arrange for an alternative method of transmission.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For procedural questions concerning written comments, please contact Yvonne Jamison at the above number. All other questions regarding the TTIP agreement should be directed to David Weiner, Deputy Assistant USTR for Europe, at (202) 395-9679.
Written Comments: The TPSC Chair invites interested parties to submit written comments to assist USTR as it works with other U.S. government agencies and continues to consult with Congress to develop U.S. negotiating objectives and proposals for the proposed TTIP agreement. Comments may address the reduction or elimination of tariffs or non-tariff barriers on any articles provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") that are products of the EU, any concession that should be sought by the United States, or any other matter relevant to the proposed agreement. The TPSC Chair invites comments on all of these matters and, in particular, seeks comments regarding:
(a) General and product-specific negotiating objectives for the proposed agreement;
(b) economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal of tariffs and removal or reduction in non-tariff barriers on articles traded with the EU;
(c) treatment of specific goods (described by HTSUS numbers) under the proposed agreement, including comments on--
(1) product-specific import or export interests or barriers,
(2) experience with particular measures that should be addressed in the negotiations, and
(3) approach to tariff negotiations, including recommended staging and ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities in the context of the proposed agreement;
(d) adequacy of existing customs measures to ensure that duty rates under an agreement with the EU apply only to goods eligible to receive such treatment, and appropriate rules of origin for goods entering the United States under the proposed agreement;
(e) existing sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(f) opportunities for greater transatlantic regulatory compatibility, including concrete ideas on how greater compatibility could be achieved in a particular economic sector, without diminishing the ability of the United States to continue to meet legitimate regulatory objectives, for example with respect to health, safety and the environment, and which sectors should be the focus of such efforts;
(g) opportunities to reduce unnecessary costs and administrative delays stemming from regulatory differences, including how that could be achieved in a particular economic sector;
(h) opportunities to enhance customs cooperation between the United States and the EU and its member states, ensure transparent, efficient, and predictable conduct of customs operations, and ensure that customs measures are not applied in a manner that creates unwarranted procedural obstacles to trade;
(i) existing barriers to trade in services between the United States and the EU that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(j) relevant electronic commerce and cross-border data flow issues that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(k) relevant investment issues that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(l) relevant competition-related matters that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(m) relevant government procurement issues, including coverage of any government agencies or state-owned enterprises engaged in procurements of interest, that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(n) relevant environmental issues that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(o) relevant labor issues that should be addressed in the negotiations;
(p) relevant transparency and anticorruption issues that should be addressed in the negotiations; and
(q) relevant trade-related intellectual property rights issues that should be raised with the EU.
In addition to the matters described above, the TPSC invites comments on new principles or disciplines addressing emerging challenges in international trade that should be pursued in the negotiations and that would benefit U.S.-EU trade as well as strengthen the multilateral rules-based trading system and support other trade-related priorities, including, for example, with respect to state-owned enterprises, ``localization'' barriers to trade, and other developments on which the United States and the EU may share similar concerns.
At a later date, USTR, through the TPSC, will publish notice of reviews regarding (a) the possible environmental effects of the proposed agreement and the scope of the U.S. environmental review of the proposed agreement, and (b) the impact of the proposed agreement on U.S. employment and labor markets.
Oral Testimony: A hearing will be held on May 29 and May 30 in the Main Hearing Room at the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E St. SW., Washington, DC 20436. Persons wishing to testify at the hearing must provide written notification of their intention by May 10, 2013. The intent to testify notification must be made in the ``Type Comment'' field under docket number USTR-2013-0019 on the regulations.gov Web site and should include the name, address and telephone number of the person presenting the testimony. A summary of the testimony must accompany the notification. Remarks at the hearing should be limited to no more than five minutes to allow for possible questions from the TPSC.