On August 2, 2017, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (82 FR 36069) Request for Comments To Compile the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers.
SUMMARY: Section 181 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, requires the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) annually to publish the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE). The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is asking interested persons to submit written comments to assist the TPSC in identifying significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment for inclusion in the NTE.
DATES: Must receive all written comments no later than 11:59 p.m., October 25, 2017.
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, subsidies provided to equipment manufacturers contingent on export 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).
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, unnecessary or discriminatory technical regulations or standards for telecommunications services, 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 royalties).
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).
9. Trade restrictions implemented through unwarranted sanitary and phytosanitary measures, including unwarranted measures justified for purposes of protecting food safety, and animal and plant life or health.
10. Trade restrictions implemented through unwarranted standards, conformity assessment procedures, or technical regulations (Technical Barriers to Trade) that may have as their objective protecting national security requirements, preventing deceptive practices, or protecting human health or safety, animal or plant life or health, or the environment, but that can be formulated or implemented in ways that create significant barriers to trade (including unnecessary or discriminatory technical regulations or standards for telecommunications products).
11. Other barriers (e.g., barriers that encompass more than one category, such as bribery and corruption, or that affect a single sector).