[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 154 (Friday, August 11, 2017)]
[Pages 37652-37654]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-16967]



[Docket Number USTR-2017-0014]

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of the 2017 
Annual GSP Product and Country Practices Review; Deadlines for Filing 
Petitions; Notice of Change in Country Practices Hearing

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice of public hearing and request for petitions and 


SUMMARY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) 
will consider petitions to modify the list of articles that are 
eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of 
Preferences (GSP) program, and to modify the GSP status of certain GSP 
beneficiary developing countries because of country practices.
    USTR is extending the previously announced hearing on Bolivia's 
country practices to include a second day to provide interested parties 
with an opportunity to submit testimony on the following country 
practice petitions accepted in previous years that continue to be under 
review: Argentina, Ecuador, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, Thailand, 
Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
    USTR will announce the procedures to receive petitions requesting 
waivers of competitive need limitations (CNLs) and the schedule for a 
public hearing on the product review petitions and any

[[Page 37653]]

new country practice petitions in the Federal Register at a later date.

    September 12, 2017 at midnight EST: Deadline for submission of 
comments, pre-hearing briefs and requests to appear at the September 
26-27, 2017, public hearing.
    September 26-27, 2017: The GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy 
Staff Committee (TPSC) will convene a public hearing on the GSP country 
practice review of Bolivia in Rooms 1 and 2, 1724 F Street NW., 
Washington DC 20508, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The GSP Subcommittee is 
extending the hearing to September 27th to provide interested parties 
with an opportunity to submit testimony on all country practice 
petitions accepted in previous years that continue to be under review. 
Any interested party, including foreign governments, may submit 
testimony or ask to testify at the September 26-27, 2017 country 
practices hearing.
    October 17, 2017 at midnight EST: Deadline for submission of post-
hearing briefs.
    October 17, 2017 at midnight EST: Deadline for submission of 
petitions to modify the list of articles eligible for duty-free 
treatment under the GSP and new petitions to review the GSP status of 
any beneficiary developing country. USTR will announce decisions on the 
petitions accepted for review, a schedule for any related public 
hearings, and the opportunity to provide comments, at a later date.

ADDRESSES: USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made through 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. The docket 
number for the 2017 Annual GSP Review is USTR-2017-0014. The current 
country practice case docket numbers are listed in section B.3 below. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments in section C below. For 
alternatives to on-line submissions, please contact Naomi Freeman at 
(202) 395-2974.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naomi Freeman at (202) 395-2974 or 
[email protected].


A. Background

    The GSP program provides for the duty-free treatment of designated 
articles when imported from beneficiary developing countries. The GSP 
program is authorized by Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 
2461 et seq.), as amended, and is implemented in accordance with 
Executive Order 11888 of November 24, 1975, as modified by subsequent 
Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

B. The 2017 Annual GSP Review Petitions

1. GSP Product Review Petitions

    Any interested party, including foreign governments, may submit 
petitions to:
    1. Designate additional articles as eligible for GSP benefits, if 
the articles are imported from countries designated as least-developed 
beneficiary developing countries, or as beneficiary sub-Saharan African 
countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
    2. Withdraw, suspend or limit the application of duty-free 
treatment accorded under the GSP with respect to any article.
    3. Otherwise modify GSP coverage.
    Petitioners seeking to add products to eligibility for GSP benefits 
should note that, as provided in section 503(b) of the Trade Act (19 
U.S.C. 2463(b)), certain articles may not be designated as eligible 
articles under GSP. As specified in 15 CFR 2007.1, all petitions must 
include a detailed description of the product and the eight-digit 
subheading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States 
(HTSUS) under which the product is classified.

2. Country Practices Review Petitions

    Any interested party may submit a petition to review the GSP 
eligibility of any beneficiary developing country with respect to any 
of the designation criteria listed in sections 502(b) and 502(c) of the 
Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(b) and (c)).

3. Notice of Change to Country Practices Public Hearing

    The GSP Subcommittee of the TPSC will hold a hearing on September 
26-27, 2017, for the following country practice cases:

              Country                  Basis for petition         Petitioner                 Docket No.
 Argentina.................  Request for GSP        Argentina............  USTR-2016-0023
 Bolivia...................  Worker Rights+Child    USTR.................  USTR-2017-0009
 Ecuador...................  Arbitral Awards......  Chevron Corporation..  USTR-2013-0013
 Georgia...................  Worker Rights........  AFL-CIO..............  USTR-2013-0009
 Indonesia.................  Intellectual Property  International          USTR-2013-0011
                                      Rights.                Intellectual
                                                             Property Alliance
 Iraq......................  Worker Rights........  AFL-CIO..............  USTR-2013-0004
 Laos......................  Request for GSP        Laos.................  USTR-2013-0021
 Thailand..................  Worker Rights........  AFL-CIO..............  USTR-2015-0018
 Ukraine...................  Intellectual Property  IIPA.................  USTR-2013-0010
 Uzbekistan................  Worker Rights+Child    International Labor    USTR-2013-0007
                                      Labor.                 Rights Forum (ILRF).
 Uzbekistan................  Intellectual Property  IIPA.................  USTR-2013-0014

    The hearing will be held in Rooms 1 and 2, 1724 F Street NW., 
Washington DC 20508 and will be open to the public and to the press. We 
will make a transcript of the hearing available on https://www.regulations.gov within approximately two weeks after the date of 
the hearing.
    All interested parties wishing to make an oral presentation at the 
hearing must submit, following the ``Requirements for Submissions'' set 
out below, the name, address, telephone number, and email address, if 
available, of the witness(es) representing their organization by 
midnight on September 12, 2017. Requests to present oral testimony must 
be accompanied by a written brief or summary statement, in English. The 
GSP Subcommittee will limit oral testimony to five-minute presentations 
that summarize or supplement information contained in briefs or 
statements submitted for the record. The GSP Subcommittee will accept 
post-hearing briefs or statements if they conform with the requirements 
set out below and are submitted, in English, by midnight on October 17, 
2017. Parties not wishing to appear at the public hearing may submit 
pre-hearing and post-hearing briefs or comments by these deadlines.
    In order to be assured of consideration, you must submit all post-
hearing briefs or statements by the October 17, 2017 deadline to docket 
number USTR-2017-0014 via www.regulations.gov. However, if there are 
new developments or information that parties wish to share with the GSP 
Subcommittee after this date, the

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regulations.gov docket will remain open until a final decision is made. 
Post all comments, letters, or other submissions related to country 
practice reviews to the appropriate docket listed above via 

C. Requirements for Submissions

    All submissions in response to this notice must conform to the GSP 
regulations set forth at 15 CFR part 2007--https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=271bd12a5ef9cae0c4c178d1131ac292&mc=true&node=pt15.3.2007&rgn=div5--except as modified below.
    The GSP Subcommittee strongly encourages on-line submissions, using 
the https://www.regulations.gov Web site. All submissions must be in 
English and must be transmitted electronically via www.regulations.gov 
using docket number USTR-2017-0014 for the 2017 GSP Annual Review (for 
products or new country practice petitions), and the docket numbers 
listed above for testimony at the country practice public hearing for 
current country practice cases. To make a submission via 
www.regulations.gov, enter the appropriate docket number on the home 
page and click ``search.'' The site will provide a search-results page 
listing all documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to 
this notice and click on the link entitled ``Comment Now!'' For further 
information on using the www.regulations.gov Web site, please consult 
the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on ``How to Use 
Regulations.gov'' on the bottom of the home page.
    USTR will not accept hand-delivered submissions. USTR will not 
accept submissions for review that do not provide the information 
required by sections 2007.0 and 2007.1 of the GSP regulations, except 
upon a detailed showing in the submission that the petitioner made a 
good faith effort to obtain the information required.
    The https://www.regulations.gov Web site allows users to provide 
comments by filling in a ``Type Comment'' field, or by attaching a 
document using an ``Upload File'' field. The GSP Subcommittee prefers 
that you provide submissions as an attached document. If you attach a 
document, it is sufficient to type ``See attached'' in the ``Type 
Comment'' field. USTR prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc) or 
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. If the submission is in another file 
format, please indicate the name of the software application in the 
``Type Comment'' field. At the beginning of the submission or on the 
first page (if an attachment), include the following text (in bold and 
underlined): (1) ``2017 GSP Annual Review'' and (2) the eight-digit 
HTSUS subheading number in which the product is classified (for product 
petitions) or the name of the country (for country practice or requests 
for new GSP country benefits petitions). Interested parties submitting 
petitions that request action with respect to specific products also 
should list at the beginning of the submission, or on the first page 
(if an attachment) the following information: (1) The requested action; 
and (2) if applicable, the beneficiary developing country. Submissions 
should not exceed 30 single-spaced, standard letter-size pages in 12-
point type, including attachments.
    Please do not attach separate cover letters or data attachments to 
electronic submissions; rather, include any such information in the 
comments themselves. Similarly, to the extent possible, please include 
any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments in the same file as the 
comment itself, rather than submitting them as separate files.
    For any electronic submissions that contain business confidential 
information, the file name of the business confidential version should 
begin with the characters ``BC''. Any page containing business 
confidential information must be clearly marked ``BUSINESS 
CONFIDENTIAL'' on the top of that page and the submission should 
clearly indicate, via brackets, highlighting, or other means, the 
specific information that is business confidential. A filer requesting 
business confidential treatment must certify that the information is 
business confidential and would not customarily be released to the 
public by the submitter. Filers of submissions containing business 
confidential information also must submit a public version of their 
comments that we will place in the docket for public inspection. The 
file name of the public version should begin with the character ``P''. 
The ``BC'' and ``P'' should be followed by the name of the person or 
entity submitting the comments. Filers submitting comments containing 
no business confidential information should name their file using the 
name of the person or entity submitting the comments.
    You will receive a submission tracking number upon completion of 
the submissions procedure at https://www.regulations.gov. The tracking 
number is your confirmation that the submission was received into 
https://www.regulations.gov. The GSP Subcommittee is not able to 
provide technical assistance for the Web site. The GSP Subcommittee may 
not consider documents that are not submitted in accordance with these 
    As noted, the GSP Subcommittee strongly urges submitters to file 
comments through www.regulations.gov. You must make any alternative 
arrangements with Naomi Freeman in advance of transmitting a comment. 
You can contact Ms. Freeman at (202) 395-2974.
    We will post comments in the docket for public inspection, except 
business confidential information. You can view comments on the https://www.regulations.gov Web site by entering the relevant docket number in 
the search field on the home page.

Erland Herfindahl,
Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Generalized System 
of Preferences and Chair of the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy 
Staff Committee Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2017-16967 Filed 8-10-17; 8:45 am]