In preparation for its annual report to Congress on China's compliance with the commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has asked for written comments from interested parties. Normally there would be an in-person hearing on these issues, but due to COVID-19, the TPSC will rely exclusively on written submissions and follow-up questions.
In terms of the substantive areas for which the TPSC is soliciting information, they include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
A. Trading rights.
B. Import regulation (e.g., tariffs, tariff-rate quotas, quotas, import licenses).
C. Export regulation.
D. Internal policies affecting trade (e.g., subsidies, standards and technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, trade-related investment measures, taxes and charges levied on imports and exports).
E. Intellectual property rights (including intellectual property rights enforcement).
G. Rule of law issues (e.g., transparency, judicial review, uniform administration of laws and regulations) and status of legal reform.
H. Other WTO commitments.
In addition, USTR "requests that commenters specifically identify unresolved compliance issues that warrant review and evaluation by USTR's China Enforcement Task Force."
The key dates for this process are as follows:
- September 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of written comments.
- September 29, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for the TPSC to pose written questions on written comments (the TPSC will post the written questions on the public docket, other than questions that include properly designated business confidential information (BCI)).
- October 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of commenters' responses to written questions from the TPSC.
Based on this public input, "on or about December 11" USTR will submit a report to Congress "on China's compliance with its WTO commitments, including both multilateral commitments and any bilateral commitments made to the United States."