The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has opened a public comment period in connection with the proposed U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement negotiations. On October 16, 2018, USTR notified Congress of its intent to enter into trade talks with Japan. Those discussions cannot begin until mid-January 2019 at the earliest under the requirements of the Trade Promotion Authority law.
Any member of the public – including individual companies, industry coalitions, and trade associations – may submit written comments to USTR by November 26, 2018. That is also the deadline to submit written notice of intent to testify, along with a summary of intended testimony, at a public hearing to be held on December 10, 2018 at 9:30 am. The hearing will be held by the Trade Policy Staff Committee, an interagency committee chaired by USTR and comprised of 20 executive branch agencies that provide input into the Administration’s trade-related decision-making through review of policy papers and negotiating documents, and eliciting public feedback. Procedures are available for commenters to submit business confidential information.