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Sept 10 --  The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), through the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), publishes the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report) each year. USTR invites comments to assist it and the TPSC in identifying significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign direct investment, and the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights for inclusion in the NTE Report. Comments should be submitted by October 29, 2020.
 
USTR annually publishes the NTE Report, which sets out an inventory of the most significant foreign barriers affecting U.S. exports of goods and services, including agricultural commodities, U.S. intellectual property, U.S. foreign direct investment by U.S. persons, especially if such investment has implications for trade in goods or services, and U.S. electronic commerce. The inventory facilitates U.S. negotiations aimed at reducing or eliminating these barriers and is a valuable tool in enforcing U.S. trade laws and strengthening the rules-based trading system. You can find the 2020 NTE Report on USTR's website at https://www.ustr.gov under the tab `Reports and Publications.' USTR will take comments in response to this notice into account in deciding which restrictions to include in the NTE Report.
 
FR notice inviting comments:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/10/2020-19985/request-for-comments-to-compile-the-national-trade-estimate-report-on-foreign-trade-barriers
 
To assist USTR in preparing the NTE Report, commenters should submit information related to one or more of the following categories of foreign trade barriers:

1. Import policies. Examples include tariffs and other import charges, quantitative restrictions, import licensing, pre-shipment inspection, customs barriers and shortcomings in trade facilitation or in valuation practices, and other market access barriers.

2. Technical barriers to trade. Examples include unnecessarily trade restrictive or discriminatory standards, conformity assessment procedures, labeling, or technical regulations, including unnecessary or discriminatory technical regulations or standards for telecommunications products.

3. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Examples include trade restrictions implemented through unwarranted measures not based on scientific evidence.

4. Subsidies, especially export subsidies and local content subsidies. Examples of export subsidies include all subsidies contingent upon export of performance and agricultural export subsidies that displace U.S. exports in third country markets. Examples of local content subsidies include subsidies contingent on the purchase or use of domestic rather than imported goods.

5. Government procurement restrictions. Examples include `buy national policies' and closed bidding.

6. Intellectual property protection. Examples include inadequate patent, copyright, and trademark regimes and inadequate enforcement of intellectual property rights.

7. Services barriers. Examples include prohibitions or restrictions on foreign participation in the market, discriminatory licensing requirements or regulatory standards, local-presence requirements, and unreasonable restrictions on the types of services that providers may offer.

8. Barriers to digital trade and electronic commerce. Examples include barriers to cross-border data flows, including data localization requirements, discriminatory practices affecting trade in digital products, restrictions on the provision of internet-enabled services, and other restrictive technology requirements.

9. Investment barriers. Examples include limitations on foreign equity participation and on access to foreign government-funded research and development programs, local content requirements, technology transfer and export performance requirements, and restrictions on repatriation of earnings, capital, fees, and royalties.

10. Competition. Examples include government-tolerated anticompetitive conduct of state-owned or private firms that restrict the sale or purchase of U.S. goods or services in the foreign country's markets, or abuse of competition laws to inhibit trade.

11. Other barriers. Examples include barriers that encompass more than one category, such as bribery and corruption, or that affect a single sector.

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