Federal Register: September 22, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 184)
DOCID: fr22se08-84 FR Doc E8-22044
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
Trade Representative, Office of United States
ACTION: Generalized System of Preferences (GSP); Initiation of a Review:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments.
Request for 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, Monday, October 20, 2008.
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.
Request for Public Comments on Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act,
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 for countries meeting 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 2008, 41 countries have been designated as
beneficiary subSaharan African countries. These countries, as well as
the 7 countries currently ineligible, are listed below. Section 506A of the 1974
Act provides that the President shall monitor and review annually 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 subSaharan African country that is currently not a beneficiary subSaharan African country, should be designated as such a country. 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 2008:
Republic of Benin
Republic of Botswana
Republic of Cape Verde
Republic of Cameroon
Republic of Chad
Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros
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 Liberia
Republic of Madagascar
Republic of Malawi
Republic of Mali
Republic of Mauritius
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
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
Republic of Togo
United Republic of Tanzania
Republic of Uganda
Republic of Zambia
The following subSaharan African countries were not designated as beneficiary subSaharan African countries in 2007:
Central African Republic
Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
Republic of Equatorial Guinea
State of Eritrea
Republic of Sudan
Republic of Zimbabwe
Requirements for Submissions: Comments must be submitted in
English. In order to facilitate the prompt processing of submissions,
USTR strongly recommends that comments be set out in digital files attached to emails transmitted to the following address:
FR0811@ustr.eop.gov. If you are unable to provide comments by email, submissions should be made by facsimile as set forth above. Persons making submissions by email should use the following subject line: ``2008 AGOA Annual Country Review.'' Digital files must be submitted in one of the following formats: WordPerfect (.WPD), Adobe (.PDF), MSWord (.DOC), or text (.TXT) files. Comments may not be submitted as electronic image files or contain embedded images, e.g., ``.JPG'', ``.TIF'', ``.BMP'', or ``.GIF''. Spreadsheet data may be submitted as Excel files, formatted for printing on 8\1/2\ x 11 inch paper. To the extent possible, any data accompanying the submission should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not in a separate file. The transmittal message or cover letter accompanying a submission must be set out exclusively in the digital file attached to the email transmissionnot in the message portion of the emailand must include the sender's name, organization name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address.
If the submission contains business confidential information that the submitter wishes to protect from public disclosure, the confidential version must be marked ``BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL'' at the top and bottom of each page. In addition, the submission must be accompanied by a nonconfidential version that indicates, with asterisks, where confidential information was redacted or deleted. The top and bottom of each page of the nonconfidential version must be marked either ``PUBLIC VERSION'' or ``NONCONFIDENTIAL''. Business confidential comments that are submitted without the required markings or are not accompanied by a properly marked nonconfidential version as set forth above may not be accepted or may be treated as public documents.
The digital file name assigned to any business confidential version of a submission 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.
Public versions of all documents relating to this review will be
available for review approximately two weeks after the due date by
appointment in the USTR public reading room, 1724 F Street, NW.,
Washington, DC. Appointments may be made Monday through Friday, from 10
a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (202) 3956186.
Appointments must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Carmen SuroBredie,
Chairman, Trade Policy Staff Committee.
[FR Doc. E822044 Filed 91908; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190W8P
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.