The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) has requested comments from interested parties on significant foreign trade barriers to U.S. exports for its annual National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (“NTE Report”). Specifically, USTR is accepting comments on foreign import policies, government procurement restrictions, export subsidies, lack of intellectual property protection, services barriers, investment barriers, government-tolerated anticompetitive conduct of state-owned or private firms that restrict the sale or purchase of U.S. goods or services, and trade restrictions affecting electronic commerce. In addition, USTR has requested information on “localization barriers to trade” – measures designed to protect, favor, or stimulate, domestic industries, service providers, or intellectual property at the expense of goods, services or intellectual property from other countries.
Any U.S. industry or company that faces significant foreign trade barriers should consider submitting information to highlight such barriers to USTR in the hopes that USTR raises them in future discussions and negotiations with trading partners.
Comments should focus on barriers that may violate U.S. trade agreements and should include an estimate of the potential increase in U.S. exports that would result from removing the identified foreign trade barrier. Public comments are due to USTR by October 22, 2013.
For more information about the contents of this newsletter, or about Kelley Drye's International Trade Practice, please contact practice group chair Kathleen Cannon or partner Paul Rosenthal, who acts as editor of this publication.