[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 2 (Friday, January 3, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 420-422]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31487]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE


2014 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under 
Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment and 
Announcement of Public Hearing

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Request for written submissions from the public and 
announcement of public hearing.

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SUMMARY: Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 
2242) 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. Acts, 
policies, or practices that are the basis of a country's identification 
as a Priority Foreign Country can be subject to the procedures set out 
in sections 301-305 of the Trade Act.
    In addition, the Office of the United States Trade Representative 
(USTR) has created a ``Priority Watch List'' and ``Watch List'' to 
assist the Administration in pursuing the goals of the Special 301 
provisions. Placement of a trading partner on the Priority Watch List 
or Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country 
with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for 
persons that rely on intellectual property protection. Trading partners

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placed on the Priority Watch List are the focus of increased bilateral 
attention concerning the problem areas.
    USTR chairs the Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff 
Committee (Subcommittee). The Subcommittee reviews information from 
many sources, and consults with and makes recommendations to the Trade 
Representative on issues arising under Special 301. Written submissions 
from interested persons are a key source of information for the Special 
301 review process. In 2014, USTR again will conduct a public hearing 
as part of the review process as well as offer the opportunity, as 
described below, for hearing participants to provide additional 
information relevant to the review. At the conclusion of the process, 
USTR will publish the results of the review in a ``Special 301'' 
Report.
    USTR is hereby requesting written submissions from the public 
concerning foreign countries that deny adequate and effective 
protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable 
market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property 
protection. USTR requests that interested parties provide the 
information described below in the ``Public Comments'' section, and 
identify whether a particular trading partner should be named as a 
Priority Foreign Country under Section 182 of the Trade Act or placed 
on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. Foreign governments that have 
been identified in previous Special 301 Reports or that are nominated 
for review in 2014 are considered interested parties, and are invited 
to respond to this request for public submissions. Interested parties, 
including foreign governments, wishing to submit information to be 
considered during the review or testify at the public hearing must 
adhere to the procedures and deadlines set forth below.
    Dates/Deadlines: The schedule and deadlines for the 2014 Special 
301 review are as follows:
    Friday, February 7, 2014--Deadline for interested parties, except 
foreign governments, to submit written comments, notice of intent to 
testify at the Special 301 Public Hearing, and hearing statements.
    Friday, February 14, 2014--Deadline for foreign governments to 
submit written comments, notice of intent to testify at the Special 301 
Public Hearing, and, although not mandatory, any prepared hearing 
statements.
    Monday, February 24, 2014--Public Hearing--The Special 301 
Subcommittee will hold a Public Hearing for interested parties, 
including representatives of foreign governments, at the offices of 
USTR, 1724 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20508. No later than Wednesday, 
February 19, 2014, USTR will confirm the date and location of the 
hearing and provide the schedule at http://www.ustr.gov.
    Friday, March 7, 2014--Deadline for submitting post-hearing written 
comments. Interested parties may provide written comments after the 
hearing. To ensure consideration, comments must be received no later 
than Friday, March 7, 2014. Please submit additional written comments 
electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2013-
0040.
    On or about April 30, 2014--USTR will publish the 2014 Special 301 
Report within 30 days of the publication of the National Trade Estimate 
(NTE) Report.
    Procedures/Addresses: All written comments, notices of intent to 
testify at the public hearing, hearing statements and post-hearing 
written responses must be in English and submitted electronically via 
http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2013-0040. Please 
specify ``2014 Special 301 Review'' in the ``Type Comment'' field on 
http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan F. Wilson, Director for 
Intellectual Property and Innovation, Office of the United States Trade 
Representative, at Special301@ustr.eop.gov. Information on the Special 
301 annual review is also available at http://www.ustr.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1. Background

    USTR requests that interested persons identify through the process 
outlined in this notice those countries that deny adequate and 
effective protection for intellectual property rights or deny fair and 
equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual 
property protection.
    Section 182 further requires the Trade Representative, to identify 
any act, policy or practice of Canada that affects cultural industries, 
is adopted or expanded after December 17, 1992, and is actionable under 
Article 2106 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The 
public is invited to submit views relevant to this aspect of the 
review.
    Section 182 requires the Trade Representative to identify all such 
acts, policies or practices within 30 days of the publication of the 
National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report. In accordance with this statutory 
requirement, USTR will publish the annual Special 301 Report on or 
about April 30, 2014.

2. Comments From the Public

a. Requirements for Written Comments

    To facilitate the review, written comments should be as detailed as 
possible and provide all necessary information for identifying and 
assessing the effect of the acts, policies, and practices. USTR 
requests that interested parties provide specific references to laws, 
regulations, policy statements, executive, presidential or other 
orders, administrative, court or other determinations that should 
factor in the review. USTR also requests that, where relevant, 
submissions mention particular regions, provinces, states, or other 
subdivisions of a country in which an act, policy, or practice is 
believed to warrant special attention. Finally, submissions proposing 
countries for review should include data, loss estimates, and other 
information regarding the economic impact on the United States, U.S. 
industry and the U.S. workforce caused by the denial of adequate and 
effective intellectual property protection. Comments that include 
quantitative loss claims should be accompanied by the methodology used 
in calculating such estimated losses.

b. Filing Instructions

    Comments must be in English. All comments should be sent 
electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2013-
0040. To submit comments to http://www.regulations.gov, locate the 
docket (folder) by entering the number USTR-2013-0040 in the ``Enter 
Keyword or ID'' window at the http://www.regulations.gov home page and 
click ``Search.'' The site will provide a search-results page listing 
all documents associated with this docket. Locate the reference to this 
notice by selecting ``Notice'' under ``Document Type'' on the left side 
of the search-results page, and click on the link entitled ``Comment 
Now!''.
    The http://www.regulations.gov site provides the option of 
submitting comments by filling in a ``Type comment'' field, or by 
attaching a document. USTR requests that comments be provided in an 
attached document. If a document is attached, please type ``2014 
Special 301 Review'' in the ``Type Comment'' field. Please submit 
documents prepared in (or compatible with) Microsoft Word (.doc) or 
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) formats. If the submission was prepared in a 
compatible format, please indicate the

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name of the relevant application in the ``Type comment'' field. For 
further information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site, 
please select ``How to use Regulations.gov'' on the bottom of any page.

3. Public Hearing

a. Notice of Public Hearing

    The Special 301 Subcommittee will hold a hearing at the offices of 
USTR, 1724 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20508 for interested parties, 
including representatives of foreign governments, on February 24, 2014. 
The hearing will be open to the public. Please consult http://www.ustr.gov to confirm the date and location of the hearing, and to 
obtain copies of the hearing schedule and transcript of the event.

b. Submission of Notice of Intent To Testify and Hearing Statements

    Prepared oral testimony before the Special 301 Subcommittee must be 
delivered in person, in English, and will be limited to five minutes. 
Subcommitte member agencies may ask questions following the prepared 
statement.
    Interested parties, except foreign governments, wishing to testify 
at the hearing must submit a ``Notice of Intent to Testify'' and 
``Hearing Statement'' to http://www.regulations.gov (following the 
procedures set forth in ``Filing Instructions'' above). The filing 
deadline is Friday, February 7, 2014. The Notice of Intent to Testify 
must include the name of the witness, name of the organization (if 
applicable), address, telephone number, fax number, and email address. 
A Hearing Statement must accompany the Notice of Intent to Testify. 
There is no requirement regarding the length of the Hearing Statement; 
however, the content of the testimony must be relevant to the Special 
301 review.
    All interested foreign governments that wish to testify at the 
hearing must submit a ``Notice of Intent to Testify'' to http://www.regulations.gov (following the procedures set forth in ``Filing 
Instructions'' above). The Notice of Intent to Testify must be filed by 
Friday, February 14, 2014, and include the name of the witness, name of 
the organization (if applicable), address, telephone number, fax 
number, and email address. Although not mandatory, government witnesses 
may submit a Hearing Statement when filing the Notice of Intent to 
Testify.

4. Business Confidential Information

    A person requesting that information contained in a comment 
submitted by that person be treated as confidential business 
information must certify that such information is business confidential 
and would not customarily be released to the public by the submitter. 
The filenames of both documents should reflect their status--``BCI'' 
for the business confidential version and ``PUBLIC'' for the public 
version. In the document, confidential business information must be 
clearly designated as such, the submission must be marked ``BUSINESS 
CONFIDENTIAL'' at the top and bottom of the cover page and each 
succeeding page, and the submission should indicate, via brackets, the 
specific information that is confidential. Additionally, the submitter 
should write ``Business Confidential'' in the ``Type Comment'' field. 
Anyone submitting a comment containing business confidential 
information must also submit, as a separate submission, a non-business 
confidential version of the submission, indicating where the business 
confidential information has been redacted. The non-business 
confidential version will be placed in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov and be available for public inspection.

5. Inspection of Comments

    USTR will maintain a publicly accessible docket for the 2014 
Special 301 Review. This public file will include all non-business 
confidential comments, notices of intent to testify, and hearing 
statements that USTR receives from the public, including foreign 
governments, in conjunction with the 2014 Special 301 Review. Comments 
will be placed in the docket upon receipt and be open to public 
inspection pursuant to 15 CFR 2006.13. Comments containing confidential 
business information are exempt from public inspection in accordance 
with 15 CFR 2006.15. However, USTR will require submission of non-
business confidential versions of such documents, as described above, 
and will post non-business confidential versions to the public docket. 
Comments may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov by entering docket 
number USTR-2013-0040 in the search field on the home page.

Susan F. Wilson,
Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation.
[FR Doc. 2013-31487 Filed 1-2-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3290-F4-P