WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings: Argentina, Measures Affecting Importation of Goods

This Notice document was issued by the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR)

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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
[Dispute No. WTO/DS444]

WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding Argentina—Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods

Agency

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Action

Notice; request for comments.

Summary

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) is providing notice that the United States has requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (“WTO Agreement”). That request may be found at www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS444/10. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.

Dates

Although USTR will accept any comments received during the course of the dispute settlement proceedings, comments should be submitted on or before January 18, 2013 to be assured of timely consideration by USTR.

Addresses

Public comments should be submitted electronically to www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2012-0023. If you are unable to provide submissions by www.regulations.gov, please contact Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-9483 to arrange for an alternative method of transmission.

If (as explained below) the comment contains confidential information, then the comment should be submitted by fax only to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640.

For Further Information Contact

Greta Milligan Peisch, Assistant General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20508, (202) 395-3150.

Supplementary Information

Section 127(b) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”) (19 U.S.C. 3537(b)(1)) requires that notice and opportunity for comment be provided after the United States submits or receives a request for the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel. Consistent with this obligation, USTR is providing notice that a dispute settlement panel has been requested pursuant to the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (“DSU”). The panel will hold its meetings in Geneva, Switzerland.

Major Issues Raised by the United States

The United States has requested the establishment of a panel to consider certain measures imposed by Argentina on the importation of goods into Argentina. In particular, Argentina subjects the importation of all goods to approval of a non-automatic import license through the Declaración Jurada Anticipada de Importación (“DJAI”) system. Argentina subjects the importation of certain categories goods into Argentina to other, product-specific, non-automatic import licenses, or Licencias No Automáticas de Importación, in the form of Certificados de Importación (“CIs”). The legal instruments through which Argentina maintains these measures are set out in the annexes to the panel request. The issuance of CIs and approval of DJAIs are systematically delayed or denied by Argentine authorities on non-transparent grounds.

In addition, Argentina often requires imports to undertake certain commitments including to limit imports, to balance imports with exports, to make or increase investments in production facilities in Argentina, to increase the local content of products manufactured in Argentina (and thereby discriminate against imported products), to refrain from transferring revenue or other funds abroad and/or to control the price of imported goods. The Argentine authorities often make the issuance of CIs and the approval of DJAIs conditional upon the importers undertaking to comply with the above-mentioned trade-restrictive commitments.

Through these measures, Argentina appears to have acted inconsistently with its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (“GATT 1994”) and the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures (“Import Licensing Agreement”). Specifically, by adopting and maintaining these measures, Argentina appears to have acted inconsistently with Articles III:4, X:1, X:3(a) and XI:1 of the GATT 1994, and Articles 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5(f), 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 of the Import Licensing Agreement.

Public Comment: Requirements for Submissions

Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning the issues raised in this dispute. Persons may submit public comments electronically to www.regulations.gov docket number USTR-2012-0023. If you are unable to provide submissions by www.regulations.gov, please contact Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-9483 to arrange for an alternative method of transmission.

To submit comments via www.regulations.gov, enter docket number USTR-2012-0023 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 by selecting “Notice” under “Document Type” on the left side of the search-results page, and click on the link entitled “Submit a Comment.” (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 This Site” on the left side of the home page.)

The www.regulations.gov site provides the option of providing comments by filling in a “Type Comments” field, or by attaching a document using an “upload file” field. It is expected that most comments will be provided in an attached document. If a document is attached, it is sufficient to type “See attached” in the “Type Comments” field.

A person requesting that information contained in a comment submitted by that person be treated as confidential business information must certify that such information is business confidential and would not customarily be released to the public by the submitter. Confidential business information must be clearly designated as such and the submission must be marked “BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL” at the top and bottom of the cover page and each succeeding page. Any comment containing business confidential information must be submitted by fax to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395-3640. A non-confidential summary of the confidential information must be submitted to www.regulations.gov. The non-confidential summary will be placed in the docket and open to public inspection.

Information or advice contained in a comment submitted, other than business confidential information, may be determined by USTR to be confidential in accordance with section 135(g)(2) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2155(g)(2)). If the submitter believes that information or advice may qualify as such, the submitter—

(1) Must clearly so designate the information or advice;

(2) Must clearly mark the material as “SUBMITTED IN CONFIDENCE” at the top and bottom of the cover page and each succeeding page; and

(3) Must provide a non-confidential summary of the information or advice.

Any comment containing confidential information must be submitted by fax. A non-confidential summary of the confidential information must be submitted to www.regulations.gov. The non-confidential summary will be placed in the docket and open to public inspection.

Pursuant to section 127(e) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 3537(e)), USTR will maintain a docket on this dispute settlement proceeding accessible to the public at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2012-0023. The public file will include non-confidential comments received by USTR from the public with respect to the dispute. If a dispute settlement panel is convened or in the event of an appeal from such a panel, the U.S. submissions, any non-confidential submissions, or non-confidential summaries of submissions, received from other participants in the dispute, will be made available to the public on USTR's Web site at www.ustr.gov, and the report of the panel, and, if applicable, the report of the Appellate Body, will be available on the Web site of the World Trade Organization, www.wto.org. Comments open to public inspection may be viewed on the www.regulations.gov Web site.

Juan Millan,
Acting Assistant United States Trade Representative for Monitoring and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2012-30965 Filed 12-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3290-F3-P
 
 
Comment Now!
Due Jan 18 2013, at 11:59 PM ET
ID: USTR-2012-0023-0006
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Date Posted: Dec 26, 2012
Federal Register Number: 2012-30965
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Comments

4
Comments Received*
On behalf of the California Table Grape Commission, please find attached comments regarding Argentina's import policies. Regards, Alyse McConnell Bryant...
See attached file(s)
Thank you for your consideration of the attached comments.

Docket Information

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Related Dockets:
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* This count refers to the total comment/submissions received on this document, as of 11:59 PM yesterday. Note: Agencies review all submissions, however some agencies may choose to redact, or withhold, certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign. This can result in discrepancies between this count and those displayed when conducting searches on the Public Submission document type. For specific information about an agency’s public submission policy, refer to its website or the Federal Register document.

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