[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 194 (Thursday, October 7, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62096-62097]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-25240]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Foreign Agricultural Service


Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade in Tobacco, 
Cotton, Peanuts and Planting Seeds, and Grains, Feed and Oilseeds; Re-
structure and Realignment

AGENCY: Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is 
hereby given that the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary), in 
coordination with the United States Trade Representative (USTR), is 
considering modifying the existing structure of both the Agricultural 
Technical Advisory Committees (ATAC) for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton, 
Peanuts and Planting Seeds (TCPPS) and in Grains, Feed and Oilseeds 
(GFO). The Secretary is also soliciting comments as to whether or not 
there are current interests not adequately represented in the 
Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee System.

DATES: Comments are due on or before November 8, 2010. The proposed 
changes will become effective upon the renewal of charters for the 
Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade scheduled to occur 
in mid-2011. At that time new members will also be added to the 
committees.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Inquiries or comments regarding: (a) 
The changes to the GFO and TCPPS committee structures or (b) whether or 
not there are currently interests not adequately represented in the 
Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee System, may be sent by electronic 
mail to Lorie.Fitzsimmons@fas.usda.gov and Steffon.Brown@fas.usda.gov. 
Comments submitted via U.S. mail should be

[[Page 62097]]

addressed to: The Office of Negotiations and Agreements, Foreign 
Agricultural Service (FAS), USDA, Stop 1040, 1400 Independence Ave., 
SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by fax to (202) 720-0340. The Office of 
Negotiations and Agreements may be reached by telephone at (202) 720-
6219, with inquiries directed to Lorie Fitzsimmons and Steffon Brown.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    The ATACs are authorized by sections 135(c)(1) and (2) of the Trade 
Act of 1974, as amended (Pub. L. 93-618, 19 U.S.C. 2155). The purpose 
of these committees is to advise the Secretary and the USTR concerning 
agricultural trade policy. The committees are intended to ensure that 
representative elements of the private sector have an opportunity to 
express their views to the U.S. government.

Proposed Committee Changes

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. II), 
FAS gives notice that the Secretary and USTR are considering removing 
representation of the planting seeds industry from the Tobacco, Cotton, 
Peanuts and Planting Seeds (TCPPS) ATAC and adding representation of 
the planting seeds sector to the Grains, Feed and Oilseeds (GFO) ATAC. 
The justification for this structural change is that many of the issues 
that the GFO committee addresses, such as genetically modified 
organisms, new technologies and international negotiations, are common 
within the U.S. planting seeds industry. The proposed changes will 
result in the Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts (TCP) ATAC and the Grains, 
Feed, Oilseeds, and Planting Seeds (GFOPS) ATAC.

Background

    In 1974, Congress established a private sector advisory committee 
system to ensure that U.S. trade policy and negotiating objectives 
adequately reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The private 
sector advisory committee system currently consists of three tiers:
     The President's Advisory Committee on Trade and Policy 
Negotiations;
     Five general policy advisory committees, including the 
Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee; and,
     Twenty-eight technical advisory committees, including the 
ATACs.
    As to the technical advisory committees, Section 135(c)(2) of the 
Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 215) provides that: The President shall establish 
such sectoral or functional advisory committees as may be appropriate. 
Such committees shall, insofar as is practicable, be representative of 
all industry, labor, agricultural, or service interests (including 
small business interests) in the sector or functional areas concerned. 
In organizing such committees, USTR and the Secretaries of Commerce, 
Labor, Agriculture, the Treasury, or other executive departments, as 
appropriate, shall--
    (A) Consult with interested private organizations; and
    (B) take into account such factors as--
    (i) patterns of actual and potential competition between United 
States industry and agriculture and foreign enterprise in international 
trade,
    (ii) the character of the nontariff barriers and other distortions 
affecting such competition,
    (iii) the necessity for reasonable limits on the number of such 
advisory committees,
    (iv) the necessity that each committee be reasonably limited in 
size, and
    (v) in the case of each sectoral committee, that the product lines 
covered by each committee be reasonably related.
    USTR and USDA are seeking comments regarding whether all 
appropriate interest in the sectors represented by the ATACs are being 
represented by the current membership of the ATACs, and if not, what 
additional interest should be represented.
    Requirements for Submission: Public comments via e-mail should be 
addressed to Lorie.Fitsimmons@fas.usda.gov and 
Steffon.Brown@fas.usda.gov. Comments submitted via U.S. mail should be 
addressed to: The Office of Negotiations and Agreements, FAS, USDA, 
Stop 1040, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250.

    Dated: September 28, 2010.
Suzanne Hale,
Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-25240 Filed 10-6-10; 8:45 am]
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