USTR Requests Comments for the 2011 Special 301 Report and for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
January 5, 2011
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has requested written submissions from the public in advance of the 2011 Special 301 Report. It has also announced a public hearing on the special 301 Report to be held March 2. Any member of the public, including foreign nationals, can submit comments to the record and can testify at the hearing. The deadline for written submissions and for written requests to testify at the hearing is Feb 15. The deadline for foreign governments is February 22.
Instructions for writing comments and submitting them online are included in USTR's December 30, 2010 Federal Register Notice.The Special 301 Report is an annual report required by the Trade Act that identifies countries which allegedly deny “adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” (19 USC 2242) Critics have argued that USTR uses it to unilaterally advance TRIPS-Plus intellectual property regimes that may not be in the best interest of other nations.
For more from PIJIP (including past comments and testimony from PIJIP Professor Flynn), please see the PIJIP Special 301 Page.
The notice from USTR came shortly after a seperate request for comments on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). USTR's request for comments on ACTA was published in the Federal Register on December 17. Any member of the public may submit comments on the controversial trade agreement, and the deadline for submission is Febraruy 15.