Federal Register: September 14, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 177)
DOCID: FR Doc 05-18278
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
Trade Representative, Office of United States
ACTION: African Growth and Opportunity Act; implementation:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
African Growth and Opportunity Act Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee; Public Comments on Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act
DATES: Public comments are due at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
(USTR) by noon, Friday, October 14, 2005.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (the ``Subcommittee'') is requesting written public comments for the annual review of the eligibility of subSaharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Subcommittee will consider these comments in developing recommendations on AGOA country eligibility for the President. Comments received related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor for the preparation of the Department of Labor's report on child labor as required under section 412(c) of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. This notice identifies the eligibility criteria that must be considered under AGOA, and lists those subSaharan African countries that are currently eligible for the benefits of the AGOA, and those that are currently ineligible for such benefits.
Sub-Saharan African countries; benefits eligibility; annual review,
The AGOA (Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Public Law 106200) (19 U.S.C. 3721 et seq.), as amended, authorizes the President to designate subSaharan African countries as beneficiary subSaharan African countries eligible for dutyfree treatment for certain additional products under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) (Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2461 et seq.) (the ``1974 Act'')), as well as for the preferential treatment the AGOA provides for certain textile and apparel articles.
The President may designate a country as a beneficiary subSaharan African country eligible for both the additional GSP benefits and the textile and apparel benefits of the AGOA (if the country also meets certain statutory requirements intended to prevent unlawful transshipment of such articles) if he determines that the country meets the eligibility criteria set forth in: (1) Section 104 of the AGOA; and (2) section 502 of the 1974 Act. For 2005, 37 countries have been designated as beneficiary subSaharan African countries. These countries, as well as the 11 countries currently ineligible, are listed below. Section 506A of the 1974 Act provides that the President shall monitor, review, and report to Congress annually on the progress of each subSaharan African country in meeting the foregoing eligibility criteria in order to determine whether each beneficiary subSaharan African country should continue to be eligible, and whether each sub Saharan African country that is currently not a beneficiary subSaharan African country, should be designated as such a country. The President's determinations will be included in the annual report submitted to Congress as required by Section 106 of the AGOA. Section 506A of the 1974 Act requires that, if the President determines that a beneficiary subSaharan African country is not making continual progress in meeting the eligibility requirements, he must terminate the designation of the country as a beneficiary subSaharan African country.
The Subcommittee is seeking public comments in connection with the annual review of the eligibility of beneficiary subSaharan African countries for the AGOA's benefits. The Subcommittee will consider any such comments in developing recommendations on country eligibility for the President. Comments related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor in making the findings required under section 504 of the 1974 Act.
The following subSaharan African countries were designated as beneficiary subSaharan African countries in 2005:
Republic of Benin
Republic of Botswana
Republic of Cameroon
Republic of Cape Verde
Republic of Chad
Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo
Republic of Djibouti
Republic of Ghana
Republic of Guinea
Republic of GuineaBissau
Republic of Kenya
Kingdom of Lesotho
Republic of Madagascar
Republic of Malawi
Republic of Mali
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Republic of Mauritius
Republic of Mozambique
Republic of Namibia
Republic of Niger
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Republic of Rwanda
Sao Tome & Principe
Republic of Senegal
Republic of Seychelles
Republic of Sierra Leone
Republic of South Africa
Kingdom of Swaziland
United Republic of Tanzania
Republic of Uganda
Republic of Zambia
The following subSaharan African countries were not designated as beneficiary subSaharan African countries in 2005:
Republic of Burundi
Central African Republic
Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros
Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
Republic of Equatorial Guinea
State of Eritrea
Republic of Liberia
Republic of Togo
Republic of Sudan
Republic of Zimbabwe
Requirements for Submissions: In order to facilitate the prompt processing of submissions, USTR strongly urges and prefers electronic (email) submissions to FR0525@ustr.eop.gov 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: ``2005 AGOA Annual Country Review.'' Documents should be submitted as WordPerfect, MSWord, or text (.TXT) files. Supporting documentation submitted as spreadsheets are acceptable as Quattro Pro or Excel. For any document containing business confidential information submitted electronically, 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 characters ``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. Similarly, 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. The USTR
Reading Room is open to the public, by appointment only, Monday through
Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. An appointment to review the file may be made by calling
(202) 3956186. Appointments must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.
Chairman, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. 0518278 Filed 91305; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190W5P
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
For procedural questions, please contact Gloria Blue, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Room F516, Washington, DC, 20508, at (202) 3953475. All other questions should be directed to Constance Hamilton, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, at (202) 3959514.