Agency Information Collection Activities; Request for Comments-Renewal of the Collection of Information Titled `301 Exclusion Requests'

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 163 (Thursday, August 22, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 163 (Thursday, August 22, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43853-43859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18094]
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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
[Docket Number USTR-2019-0014]
Agency Information Collection Activities; Request for Comments--
Renewal of the Collection of Information Titled `301 Exclusion
Requests'
AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.
ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
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SUMMARY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)
invites comments on an existing information collection request (ICR)
titled 301 Exclusion Requests. USTR plans to ask the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) to renew approval of the ICR for three
years under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its
implementing regulations.
DATES: Submit comments no later than October 21, 2019.
ADDRESSES: USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made through
the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. See the
submission instructions below. The Docket Number is USTR-2019-0014. For
alternatives to on-line submissions, please contact the Section 301
hotline at (202) 395-5725 before transmitting a comment and in advance
of the deadline.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Assistant General Counsels Philip
Butler or Megan Grimball, or Director of Industrial Goods Justin
Hoffmann at (202) 395-5725.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
A. Comments
    Submit written comments and suggestions addressing one or more of
the following four points:
    (1) Whether the ICR is necessary for the proper performance of
USTR's functions, including whether the information will have practical
utility.
    (2) The accuracy of USTR's estimate of the burden of the ICR,
including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.
    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the ICR.
    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the ICR on those who are to
respond, including through the use of appropriate automated,
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or
other forms of information technology.
B. Overview of This Information Collection
    Title: 301 Exclusion Requests.
    OMB Control Number: 0350-0015, which expires on December 31, 2019.
    Form Number(s): 301 Exclusion Request/Response/Reply Form.
    Description: Following a comprehensive investigation, the U.S.
Trade Representative determined that the Government of China's acts,
policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual
property, and innovation were actionable under section 301(b) of the
Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2411(b)). The U.S. Trade Representative
determined that appropriate action to obtain the elimination of these
acts, policies, and practices included the imposition of additional ad
valorem duties on products from China classified in certain enumerated
subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
(HTSUS). For background on the proceedings in this investigation,
please see the prior notices issued in the investigation, including 82
FR 40213 (August 23, 2017), 83 FR 14906 (April 6, 2018), 83 FR 28710
(June 20, 2018), 83 FR 33608 (July 17, 2018), 83 FR 38760 (August 7,
2018), 83 FR 40823 (August 16, 2018), 83 FR 47974 (September 21, 2018),
and 83 FR 49152 (September 28, 2018), 83 FR 65198 (December 19, 2018),
84 FR 7966 (March 5, 2019), 84 FR 20459 (May 9, 2019), and 84 FR 21389
(May 9, 2019).
    On May 15, 2019, USTR submitted a request to OMB for emergency
processing of this ICR. USTR reviewed the six submissions in response
to the notice requesting comments (84 FR 23145). Five comments
expressed concerns regarding the ability to designate and protect
business confidential information (BCI); three requested that the ICR
provide additional guidance or clarification; two asked for an
expedited review process; two requested that the ICR take into account
additional information; two commented with respect to the burden
estimate; two requested certain questions be removed; and one indicated
the ICR should better indicate whether a particular field was required.
    In light of the comments and in further consideration of the
issues, USTR published FAQs covering a wide range of topics pertaining
to the
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exclusions process and made changes to the ICR. The changes included
updates to section one--`Submitter Information'--to include `country'
as a field, and to add a question to determine if the requestor meets
the size standards for a small business established by the Small
Business Administration. Other changes included designations to each
field of the ICR to indicate whether the field is required and if the
field is for BCI or public information.
    OMB approved the emergency processing request on June 20, 2019, and
assigned Control Number 0350-0015, which expires on December 31, 2019.
    On June 24, 2019 (84 FR 29576), the U.S. Trade Representative
established a process by which U.S. stakeholders could request the
exclusion of particular products classified within a covered tariff
subheading from the additional duties that went into effect on
September 24, 2018, and May 10, 2019. Requests for exclusion have to
identify a particular product and provide supporting data and the
rationale for the requested exclusion. Within 14 days after USTR posts
a request for exclusion, interested persons can provide a response with
the reasons they support or oppose the request. Interested persons can
reply to the response within seven days after it is posted.
    On June 30, 2019, USTR opened an electronic portal for submission
of exclusion requests--http://exclusions.ustr.gov--using the approved
ICR. The deadline for submitting requests is September 30, 2019. A
reproduction of the form used on the portal is attached as an annex to
this notice.
    Affected Public: U.S. stakeholders who want to request, or comment
on a request, to exclude particular products from the additional duties
on products from China classified in certain enumerated subheadings of
the HTSUS.
    Frequency of Submission: One submission per request, response, or
reply.
    Respondent Universe: U.S. stakeholders.
    Reporting Burden:
    Total Estimated Responses: 60,000 requests to exclude a particular
product; 7,000 responses to a product exclusion request; and 3,000
replies to a response.
    Total Estimated Annual Burden: USTR has revised this burden
estimate in accordance with comments received in response to the
emergency processing notice. USTR estimates that preparing and
submitting a request to exclude a particular product will take
approximately 120 minutes and will cost about $200 per submission. The
total time burden for requests is 120,000 hours and the estimated total
cost is $12,000,000.
    USTR estimates that preparing and submitting a response to a
product exclusion request will take approximately 60 minutes, and will
cost about $100 per submission. The total time burden for responses is
approximately 7,000 hours at an estimated total cost of $700,000.
    USTR estimates that preparing and submitting a reply will take
approximately 30 minutes, and will cost about $50 per submission. The
total time burden for replies is approximately 1,500 hours and the
estimated total cost is $150,000.
    USTR estimates that the cost to the Federal government to evaluate
each request, and response or reply, if any, is 2.5 hours, for a total
time burden of 175,000 hours at an estimated total cost of $9,700,000.
The $9.7 million total cost estimate includes the average annual salary
plus benefits, for the federal employees and contractors expected to
work on the exclusion process. USTR estimates that it will take
approximately one year to complete the process.
    Status: After reviewing comments received in response to this
notice, under the PRA and its implementing regulations, USTR plans to
submit a request to OMB to renew approval of the ICR for three years.
C. Requirements for Submissions
    You must submit written comments by the deadline set forth in this
notice. You must make all submissions in English via http://www.regulations.gov, using Docket Number USTR-2019-0014. USTR will not
accept hand-delivered submissions. To make a submission using http://www.regulations.gov, enter the appropriate docket number in the `search
for' field 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' in the `filter results by' section on the left side of the screen
and click on the link entitled `comment now.' The regulations.gov
website offers the option of providing comments by filling in a `type
comment' field or by attaching a document using the `upload file(s)'
field. USTR prefers that you provide submissions in an attached
document and note `see attached' in the `type comment' field on the
online submission form. Include any data attachments to the submission
in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files.
    You will receive a tracking number upon completion of the
submission procedure at http://www.regulations.gov. The tracking number
is confirmation that regulations.gov received the submission. Keep the
confirmation for your records. USTR is not able to provide technical
assistance for the website. USTR may not consider documents you do not
submit in accordance with these instructions. If you are unable to
provide submissions as requested, please contact the Section 301
hotline at (202) 395-5725 before transmitting a comment and in advance
of the deadline. General information concerning USTR is available at
www.ustr.gov.
Janice Kaye,
Chief Counsel for Administrative Law.
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[FR Doc. 2019-18094 Filed 8-21-19; 8:45 am]
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