DATES: Written comments are due by 11:59 p.m., June 9, 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 11:59 p.m., June 9, 2013. The hearing will be held on July 2 beginning at 9:30 a.m., in the Main Hearing Room of the United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC20436.
In November 2011, Japan formally expressed its intention to seek consultations with the TPP countries regarding Japan's possible participation in the TPP negotiations. On December 7, 2011, USTR published a notice in the Federal Register (76 FR 76478), seeking public comments on Japan's possible participation in the TPP negotiations.
On April 24, 2013, following Congressional consultations and after having reached consensus on Japan's participation with the other TPP negotiating partners, (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam), the U.S. Trade Representative notified Congress that the President intends to commence negotiations with Japan in the context of the ongoing negotiations of the TPP.
2. Public Comments
To assist USTR as it develops its negotiating objectives, the Chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee ("TPSC") invites interested persons to submit written comments and/or oral testimony at a public hearing on matters relevant to Japan's participation in the TPP negotiations and with respect to the bilateral negotiations to address certain non-tariff measures. The TPSC Chair invites comments on all of these matters and, in particular, seeks comments regarding:
(a) General and product-specific negotiating objectives for Japan in the context of the TPP negotiations;
(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 Japan;
(c) treatment of specific goods (described by HTSUS numbers) under the proposed TPP 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 related to Japan in the context of the TPP agreement;
(d) adequacy of existing customs measures to ensure that qualifying imported goods from TPP countries, including Japan, receive preferential treatment, and appropriate rules of origin for goods entering the United States under the proposed TPP agreement;
(e) existing sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade imposed by Japan that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations;
(f) existing barriers to trade in services between the United States and Japan that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations;
(g) relevant electronic commerce and cross-border data flow issues that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations;
(h) relevant investment issues that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations;
(i) relevant competition-related matters that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations;
(j) 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 TPP negtiations;
(k) relevant environmental issues that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations;
(l) relevant labor issues that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations;
(m) relevant trade-related intellectual property rights issues that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations.
In addition to the matters described above, USTR is addressing new and emerging issues in this proposed regional agreement. Specifically, USTR is considering new approaches designed to promote innovation and competitiveness, encourage new technologies and emerging economic sectors, increase the participation of small- and medium-sized businesses in trade, and support the development of efficient production and supply chains that include U.S. firms in order to encourage firms to invest and produce in the United States. The TPSC Chair invites comments regarding how Japan's participation in the TPP negotiations might affect these new approaches. The TPSC Chair also invites comments on the impact of Japan's participation in the TPP negotiations on other trade-related priorities in the TPP agreement, including environmental protection and conservation, transparency, workers' rights and protections, development, and other issues.