Initiation of Section 301 Investigation: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Targeting the Maritime, Logistics, and Shipbuilding Sectors for Dominance

Published date22 April 2024
Record Number2024-08515
CourtTrade Representative Office Of The United States
29424
Federal Register / Vol. 89, No. 78 / Monday, April 22, 2024 / Notices
1
The five petitioners are the United Steel, Paper
and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy,
Allied Industrial and Service Workers International
Union, AFL–CIO CLC (USW), the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers,
AFL–CIO/CLC (IBB), the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), and
the Maritime Trades Department of the AFL–CIO
(MTD).
2
For additional information, the full text of the
petition and accompanying exhibits are available at:
https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-
301-investigations/section-301-petition-china-
maritime-logistics-and-shipbuilding-sector.
Vanessa A. Countryman from the Office
of the Secretary at (202) 551–5400.
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552b.
Dated: April 18, 2024.
Vanessa A. Countryman,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2024–08673 Filed 4–18–24; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 8011–01–P
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES
TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
[Docket Nos. USTR–2024–0004, USTR–
2024–0005]
Initiation of Section 301 Investigation:
China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices
Targeting the Maritime, Logistics, and
Shipbuilding Sectors for Dominance
AGENCY
: Office of the United States
Trade Representative.
ACTION
: Notice of investigation
initiation, hearing, and request for
comments.
SUMMARY
: On March 12, 2024, the Office
of the United States Trade
Representative (USTR) received a
petition requesting an investigation of
China’s acts, policies, and practices
targeting the maritime, logistics, and
shipbuilding sectors for dominance. On
consideration of the petition and the
advice of the Section 301 Committee,
the U.S. Trade Representative has
initiated an investigation into the issues
raised in the petition. The inter-agency
Section 301 Committee will hold a
public hearing and is seeking public
comments in connection with this
investigation.
DATES
:
April 17, 2024: The U.S. Trade
Representative initiated the
investigation.
May 22, 2024: To be assured of
consideration, submit written comments
and any requests to appear at the
hearing, along with a summary of the
testimony, by this date.
May 29, 2024: The Section 301
Committee will convene a public
hearing in the main hearing room of the
U.S. International Trade Commission
Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington
DC, beginning at 10 a.m. If necessary,
the hearing may continue on May 31,
2024.
Seven days after the last day of the
public hearing: Submit post-hearing
rebuttal comments.
ADDRESSES
: Submit documents in
response to this notice, including
written comments, hearing appearance
requests, summaries of testimony, and
post-hearing rebuttal comments through
the appropriate online USTR portal at:
https://comments.ustr.gov/s/.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Megan Grimball and Philip Butler,
Chairs of the Section 301 Committee, or
Assistant General Counsels Thomas Au
and Henry Smith, (202) 395–5725.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
:
I. Summary of the Petition
On March 12, 2024, five labor
unions
1
filed a Section 301 petition
regarding the acts, policies, and
practices of China to dominate the
maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding
sector.
2
The petition was filed pursuant
to section 302(a)(1) of the Trade Act of
1974, as amended (Trade Act) (19 U.S.C.
2412(a)(1)), requesting action pursuant
to Section 301(b) (19 U.S.C. 2411(b)).
Petitioners allege that China targets
the maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding
sector for dominance and engages in a
wide range of unreasonable or
discriminatory acts, policies, and
practices that provide unfair advantages
across maritime industries, such as
shipbuilding, shipping, and maritime
equipment, including:
Implementing industrial planning
and policies that are designed to
unfairly capture market share, distort
global markets, and advantage Chinese
enterprises;
Directing mergers and
anticompetitive activities;
Providing non-market advantages to
Chinese firms to dominate key upstream
inputs and technologies;
Providing advanced financing
mechanisms advantaging Chinese
industry;
Creating a Chinese network of
upstream suppliers, foreign ports and
terminals, shippers, and equipment and
logistics software that allow
advantageous use of information;
Tolerating intellectual property
theft and industrial espionage; and
Controlling shipping freight rates
and capacity allocations.
The petitioners also aver that China
threatens to discriminate against U.S.
commerce and disrupt supply chains.
Petitioners allege that China’s acts,
policies, and practices burden or restrict
U.S. commerce by:
Dramatically increasing China’s
shipbuilding excess capacity and global
market share, contributing to declines in
U.S. shipbuilding capacity, production,
and market share;
Artificially depressing prices,
which makes it more difficult for U.S.
companies to compete for sales;
Impeding U.S. investment,
production, and employment;
Reducing the number of U.S.-
produced ships in the domestic and
global merchant fleets; and
Providing unfair advantages and
preferences that burden or restrict trade
in inputs, and burden or restrict trade
opportunities for upstream inputs and
downstream industries.
In addition, the petitioners assert that
China threatens to undermine U.S.
national and economic security.
II. Initiation of a Section 301
Investigation
Pursuant to section 302(a)(2) of the
Trade Act, the U.S. Trade
Representative reviewed the allegations
in the petition, and after receiving the
advice of the section 301 Committee, the
U.S. Trade Representative determined to
initiate an investigation regarding the
issues raised in the petition. In
accordance with Section 303(a) of the
Trade Act, USTR is requesting
consultations with the government of
China. Petitioners have requested a
public hearing. In accordance with
section 302(a)(4), and with the
agreement of the petitioners, the section
301 Committee will hold a public
hearing on this matter on May 29, 2024.
III. Relevant Provisions of the Trade
Act
Section 302(a)(4) of the Trade Act
authorizes the U.S. Trade
Representative to initiate an
investigation to determine whether an
act, policy, or practice of a foreign
country is actionable under section 301
of the Trade Act. Actionable matters
under section 301 include acts, policies,
and practices of a foreign country that
are unreasonable or discriminatory and
burden or restrict U.S. commerce. See
Section 301(b)(1). An act, policy, or
practice is unreasonable if, while not
necessarily in violation of, or
inconsistent with, the international legal
rights of the United States, it is
otherwise unfair and inequitable. See
Section 301(d)(3)(A). The statute
provides that acts, policies, and
practices that are unreasonable include
any act, policy, or practice, or any
combination of acts, policies, or
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Federal Register / Vol. 89, No. 78 / Monday, April 22, 2024 / Notices
practices, which constitutes export
targeting. See Section 301(d)(3)(B)(ii).
Export targeting means any government
plan or scheme consisting of a
combination of coordinated actions
(whether carried out severally or jointly)
that are bestowed on a specific
enterprise, industry, or group thereof,
the effect of which is to assist the
enterprise, industry, or group to become
more competitive in the export of a class
or kind of merchandise. See Section
301(d)(3)(E). The statute also provides
that an act, policy, or practice of a
foreign country that burdens or restricts
U.S. commerce may include the
provision, directly or indirectly, by that
foreign country of subsidies for the
construction of vessels used in the
commercial transportation by water of
goods between foreign countries and the
United States. See Section 301(d)(2).
Pursuant to section 304 of the Trade
Act, the U.S. Trade Representative will
determine on the basis of the
investigation whether any act, policy, or
practice described under section 301(b)
exists. If that determination is
affirmative, the U.S. Trade
Representative will determine whether
action is appropriate, and if so, what
action to take. See Section 304(a)(1)(B).
IV. Request for Public Comments
You may submit written comments on
any issue covered by the investigation.
In particular, USTR invites comments
on:
China’s acts, policies, and practices
targeting the maritime, logistics, and
shipbuilding sectors for dominance;
Whether China’s acts, policies, and
practices targeting the maritime,
logistics, and shipbuilding sectors for
dominance are unreasonable or
discriminatory;
China’s efforts to dominate the
global maritime, logistics, and
shipbuilding sectors, including the
upstream and downstream supply
chain, as well as shipping services;
Information on other acts, policies,
and practices of China relating to the
maritime, logistics and shipbuilding
sectors, including:
political guidance, directives, and
control within state and private
enterprises,
activities of state-owned or state-
controlled enterprises,
market access and investment
restrictions,
opaque regulatory preferences and
discrimination,
wage-suppressing labor practices,
state support of industry (including
government guidance funds),
forced technology transfer
(including state-sponsored cyber theft of
intellectual property), or
other means employed by China to
achieve its goals, which might be
included in this investigation, or be
addressed through other applicable
mechanisms;
Whether China’s acts, policies, and
practices burden or restrict U.S.
commerce, and if so, the nature and
level of the burden or restriction. Such
comments may include economic
assessments of the burden or restriction
on any sector or industry, as well as
assessments of the burden or restriction
on labor in the United States related to
the acts, policies, and practices under
investigation;
The determinations required under
section 304 of the Trade Act; and
Any other views concerning issues
raised in the petition.
To be assured of consideration, USTR
must receive written comments by May
22, 2024. Additional instructions on
how to submit written comments are
provided in section V below.
The Section 301 Committee will
convene a public hearing on May 29,
2024, in the main hearing room of the
U.S. International Trade Commission,
500 E Street SW, Washington DC 20436,
beginning at 10 a.m. Persons wishing to
appear at the hearing must provide
written notification of their intention
and a summary of the proposed
testimony by 11:59 p.m. on May 22,
2024, using the procedures in section V
below. Remarks at the hearing are
limited to five minutes to allow for
possible questions from the Section 301
Committee.
Post-hearing rebuttal comments,
which should be limited to rebutting or
supplementing testimony at the hearing,
may be submitted within seven calendar
days after the last day of the public
hearing. Post-hearing rebuttal comments
must be submitted using the electronic
portal following the instructions in
section V below.
V. Procedures for Notification of Intent
To Testify and Written Submissions,
Including Rebuttal Submissions
You must submit written comments,
requests to appear at the hearing,
summaries of testimony, and post-
hearing rebuttal comments using the
appropriate docket on the portal at
https://comments.ustr.gov/s/. To submit
written comments, including post-
hearing rebuttal comments, use the
docket on the portal entitled ‘‘Request
for Comments on the Section 301
Investigation of China’s Acts, Policies,
and Practices Targeting the Maritime,
Logistics, and Shipbuilding Sectors for
Dominance’’, docket number USTR–
2024–0005.
Persons wishing to provide testimony
at the hearing must submit a notification
of intent and summary of testimony
using the docket entitled: ‘‘Request to
Appear at the Hearing on the Section
301 Investigation of China’s Acts,
Policies, and Practices Targeting the
Maritime, Logistics, and Shipbuilding
Sectors for Dominance’’, docket number
USTR–2024–0004.
You do not need to establish an
account to submit comments or
notification of intent to testify. The first
screen of each docket allows you to
enter identification and contact
information. Third party organizations
such as law firms, trade associations, or
customs brokers, should identify the full
legal name of the organization they
represent, and identify the primary
point of contact for the submission.
Information fields are optional;
however, your comment or request may
not be considered if insufficient
information is provided.
Fields with a gray Business
Confidential Information (BCI) notation
are for BCI information which will not
be made publicly available. Fields with
a green (Public) notation will be
viewable by the public.
After entering the identification and
contact information, you can complete
the remainder of the comment, or any
portion of it by clicking ‘‘Next.’’ You
may upload documents at the end of the
form and indicate whether USTR should
treat the documents as business
confidential or public information.
Any page containing BCI must be
clearly marked ‘BUSINESS
CONFIDENTIAL’ on the top of that page
and the submission should clearly
indicate, via brackets, highlighting, or
other means, the specific information
that is BCI. If you request business
confidential treatment, you must certify
in writing that disclosure of the
information would endanger trade
secrets or profitability, and that the
information would not customarily be
released to the public.
Parties uploading attachments
containing BCI also must submit a
public version of their comments. If
these procedures are not sufficient to
protect BCI or otherwise protect
business interests, please contact the
USTR section 301 support line at (202)
395–5725 to discuss whether alternative
arrangements are possible.
USTR will post attachments uploaded
to the docket for public inspection,
except for properly designated BCI. You
can view submissions on USTR’s
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Federal Register / Vol. 89, No. 78 / Monday, April 22, 2024 / Notices
1
These criteria may be found in Appendix A to
Part 391—Medical Advisory Criteria, section H.
Epilepsy: §391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 3, 4, and 5,
which is available on the internet at https://
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/
CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf.
electronic portal at https://comments.
ustr.gov/s/.
Juan Millan,
Acting General Counsel, Office of the United
States Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2024–08515 Filed 4–19–24; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3390–F4–P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0323; FMCSA–
2017–0251; FMCSA–2018–0058; FMCSA–
2020–0052; FMCSA–2021–0026]
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption
Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure
Disorders
AGENCY
: Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA), Department
of Transportation (DOT).
ACTION
: Notice of final disposition.
SUMMARY
: FMCSA announces its
decision to renew exemptions for 13
individuals from the requirement in the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations (FMCSRs) that interstate
commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
drivers have ‘‘no established medical
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy
or any other condition which is likely
to cause loss of consciousness or any
loss of ability to control a CMV.’’ The
exemptions enable these individuals
who have had one or more seizures and
are taking anti-seizure medication to
continue to operate CMVs in interstate
commerce.
DATES
: The exemptions were applicable
on March 15, 2024. The exemptions
expire on March 15, 2026.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
: Ms.
Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical
Programs Division, FMCSA, DOT, 1200
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC
20590–0001, (202) 366–4001,
fmcsamedical@dot.gov. Office hours are
from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
If you have questions regarding viewing
or submitting material to the docket,
contact Dockets Operations, (202) 366–
9826.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
:
I. Public Participation
A. Viewing Comments
To view comments go to
www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket
number (FMCSA–2015–0323, FMCSA–
2017–0251, FMCSA–2018–0058,
FMCSA–2020–0052, or FMCSA–2021–
0026) in the keyword box and click
‘‘Search.’’ Next, sort the results by
‘‘Posted (Newer-Older),’’ choose the first
notice listed, and click ‘‘Browse
Comments.’’ If you do not have access
to the internet, you may view the docket
online by visiting Dockets Operations
on the ground floor of the DOT West
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE,
Washington, DC 20590–0001, between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays. To be
sure someone is there to help you,
please call (202) 366–9317 or (202) 366–
9826 before visiting Dockets Operations.
B. Privacy Act
In accordance with 49 U.S.C.
31315(b)(6), DOT solicits comments
from the public on the exemption
request. DOT posts these comments,
without edit, including any personal
information the commenter provides, to
www.regulations.gov. As described in
the system of records notice DOT/ALL
14 (Federal Docket Management
System), which can be reviewed at
https://www.transportation.gov/
individuals/privacy/privacy-act-system-
records-notices, the comments are
searchable by the name of the submitter.
II. Background
On February 27, 2024, FMCSA
published a notice announcing its
decision to renew exemptions for 13
individuals from the epilepsy and
seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR
391.41(b)(8) to operate a CMV in
interstate commerce and requested
comments from the public (89 FR
14735). The public comment period
ended on March 29, 2024, and no
comments were received.
FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility
of these applicants and determined that
renewing these exemptions would likely
achieve a level of safety that is
equivalent to, or greater than, the level
that would be achieved by complying
with § 391.41(b)(8).
The physical qualification standard
for drivers regarding epilepsy found in
§ 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is
physically qualified to drive a CMV if
that person has no established medical
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy
or any other condition which is likely
to cause the loss of consciousness or any
loss of ability to control a CMV.
In addition to the regulations, FMCSA
has published advisory criteria
1
to
assist medical examiners in determining
whether drivers with certain medical
conditions are qualified to operate a
CMV in interstate commerce.
III. Discussion of Comments
FMCSA received no comments in this
proceeding.
IV. Conclusion
Based on its evaluation of the 13
renewal exemption applications and
comments received, FMCSA announces
its decision to exempt the following
drivers from the epilepsy and seizure
disorders prohibition in § 391.41(b)(8).
As of March 15, 2024, and in
accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and
31315(b), the following 13 individuals
have satisfied the renewal conditions for
obtaining an exemption from the
epilepsy and seizure disorders
prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate
CMV drivers (89 FR 14735):
Andrew Anzalone (MA)
Robert Drake (AZ)
Jeffrey Green (CA)
Dylan Hill (KS)
Alan Keil (HI)
Christian Mandahl (MT)
Richard Packer (ID)
Steven Paul (WI)
Richard Riley (IA)
Brian Adam Runk (PA)
Bradley Scruggs (CA)
Robert Spencer (FL)
Kip West (CO)
The drivers were included in docket
number FMCSA–2015–0323, FMCSA–
2017–0251, FMCSA–2018–0058,
FMCSA–2020–0052, or FMCSA–2021–
0026. Their exemptions were applicable
as of March 15, 2024 and will expire on
March 15, 2026.
In accordance with 49 U.S.C.
31315(b), each exemption will be valid
for 2 years from the effective date unless
revoked earlier by FMCSA. The
exemption will be revoked if the
following occurs: (1) the person fails to
comply with the terms and conditions
of the exemption; (2) the exemption has
resulted in a lower level of safety than
was maintained prior to being granted;
or (3) continuation of the exemption
would not be consistent with the goals
and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and
31315(b).
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2024–08519 Filed 4–19–24; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P
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