Federal Register: December 21, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 244)
DOCID: FR Doc 04-27818
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
Trade Representative, Office of United States
ACTION: Trade Policy Staff Committee:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Request for comments.
Trade Policy Staff Committee; Request for Public Comment on Review of Employment Impact of United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
DATES: USTR and Labor will accept any comments received during the course of the negotiations of the FTA. However, comments should be received by noon, February 16, 2005, to be assured of timely consideration.
The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) gives notice that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Labor (Labor) are initiating a review of the impact of a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Oman on U.S. employment, including labor markets. This notice seeks written public comment on potentially significant sectoral or regional employment impacts (both positive and negative) in the United States as well as other likely labor market impacts of the FTA.
U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement—; Employment impact review,
1. Background Information
In accordance with section 2104 of the Trade Act of 2002 (Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 3804), on November 15, 2003, the USTR notified the Congress of the President's intent to initiate FTA negotiations with Oman. Pursuant to the requirements of the Trade Act of 1974, the USTR requested the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to provide advice on probable economic effects no later than February 28, 2005. In addition, USTR published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting views from the public on the negotiations in general, and the TPSC will hold a public hearing on January 14, 2005. The United States intends to begin negotiations with Oman in March 2005.
2. Employment Impact Review
Section 2102(c)(5) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 3802(c)(5)) directs the President to review the impact of future trade agreements on U.S. employment, including labor markets, modeled after Executive Order 13141 to the extent appropriate in establishing procedures and criteria, report to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate on such review, and make that report available to the public. USTR and Labor will conduct the employment reviews through the TPSC.
The employment impact review will be based on the following elements, which are modeled to the extent appropriate after those in EO 13141. The review will be: (1) Written; (2) initiated through a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment and information on the employment impact of the FTA in the United States; (3) made available to the public in draft form for public comment, to the extent practicable; and (4) made available to the public in final form.
Comments may be submitted on potentially significant sectoral or regional employment impacts (both positive and negative) in the United States as well as other likely labor market impacts of the FTA. Persons submitting comments should provide as much detail as possible in support of their submissions.
3. Requirements for Submissions
In order to ensure prompt and full consideration of response, the TPSC strongly urges and prefers electronic (email) submissions in response to this notice. In the event that an email submission is impossible, submissions should be made by facsimile.
Persons making submissions by email should use the following subject line: ``U.S.Oman FTA Employment Impact Review.'' Documents should be submitted as WordPerfect, MSWord, or text (.TXT) files. Spreadsheets submitted as supporting documentation are acceptable as Quattro Pro or Excel files. If any document submitted electronically contains business confidential information, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters ``BC,'' and the file name of the public version should begin with the character ``P.'' The ``P'' or ``BC'' should be followed by the name of the submitter. Persons who make submissions by email should not provide separate cover letters; information that might appear in a cover letter should be included in the submission itself. To the extent possible, any attachments to the submission should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files.
Written comments will be placed in a file open to public inspection
pursuant to 15 CFR 2003.5, except confidential business information
exempt from public inspection in accordance with 15 CFR 2003.6.
Confidential business information submitted in accordance with 15 CFR
2003.6 must be clearly marked ``BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL'' at the top of
each page, including any cover letter or cover page, and must be
accompanied by a nonconfidential summary of the confidential
information. All public documents and nonconfidential summaries shall
be available for public inspection in the USTR Reading Room in Room 3
of the Annex of the Office of the USTR, 1724 F Street, NW., Washington,
DC 20508. An appointment to review the file may be made by calling
(202) 3956186. The USTR Reading Room is generally open to the public from 10 a.m12 noon and 14 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Appointments must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Carmen SuroBredie,
Chairman, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
For procedural questions concerning public comments, contact Gloria Blue, Executive Secretary, TPSC, Office of the USTR, 1724 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20508, telephone (202) 3953475. Substantive questions concerning the employment impact review should be addressed to Jorge PerezLopez, Director, Office of International Economic Affairs, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 6934883; or William Clatanoff, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Labor, telephone (202) 3956120.