On December 28, 2016, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (81 FR 95722) 2017 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974; Request for Public Comment and Notice of Public Hearing.
SUMMARY: Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Trade Act) requires the United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. The provisions of Section 182 are commonly referred to as the ``Special 301'' provisions of the Trade Act. The Trade Act requires the Trade Representative to determine which, if any, of these countries to identify as Priority Foreign Countries. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requests written comments that identify acts, policies, or practices that may form the basis of a country's identification as a Priority Foreign Country or placement on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. USTR also requests notices of intent to appear at the public hearing.
DATES: The schedule and deadlines for the 2017 Special 301 review are as follows:
February 9, 2017 at midnight EST: Written comments, notices of intent to testify at the Special 301 Public Hearing, and hearing statements from the public are due.
February 23, 2017 at midnight EST: Written comments, notices of intent to testify at the Special 301 Public Hearing, and although not mandatory, any prepared hearing statements from foreign governments are due.
February 28, 2017: The Special 301 Subcommittee will hold a public hearing at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, 1724 F Street NW., Rooms 1&2, Washington, DC 20508. If necessary, the hearing may continue on the next business day. Please consult the USTR Web site for confirmation of the date and location and the schedule of witnesses.
March 3, 2017 at midnight EST: Post-hearing written comments from persons who testified at the public hearing are due.
On or about April 30, 2017: USTR will publish the 2017 Special 301 Report within 30 days of the publication of the National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report.