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2012

Below are 2012 reports.

Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets

December 13, 2012

The Notorious Markets review identifies markets that are particularly prominent examples of notorious markets in each category, and does not constitute an exhaustive list of all notorious markets around the world. Inclusion in the Notorious Markets List does not reflect a finding of a violation of law or the United States Government’s analysis of the general Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection and enforcement climate in the country concerned; such analysis is contained in the annual Special 301 Report. However, the United States urges the responsible authorities to intensify efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting in these and similar markets, and to use the information contained in the Notorious Markets List to pursue legal actions where appropriate.

2012 Trade Policy Agenda and 2011 Annual Report

In 2012, the Administration’s trade policy will continue to provide leadership for the global economy and help American manufacturers, service providers, farmers, and ranchers sell more goods and services around the world, supporting more jobs here at home.

The President’s Trade Policy Agenda for 2012 outlines an ambitious scope of work to meet these goals. Across the global stage, we will advance market-opening negotiations with our trading partners and bolster existing ties. We will continue to actively enforce U.S. rights under our trade agreements. We will conduct these efforts based on high standards that reflect American values on labor and on the environment, and on public engagement and transparency.

National Trade Estimate Report

The 2012 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE) is the twenty-seventh in an annual series that surveys significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports. This document is a companion piece to the President's Trade Policy Agenda published in March. The issuance of the NTE Report continues the elaboration of an enforcement strategy, utilizing this report, among other tools, in that strategy.

The report provides, where feasible, quantitative estimates of the impact of these foreign practices on the value of U.S. exports. Information is also included on some of the actions taken to eliminate foreign trade barriers. Opening markets for American goods and services, either through negotiating trade agreements or through results-oriented enforcement actions, is this Administration‟s top trade priority. This report is an important tool for identifying such trade barriers.

Special 301 Report

This Report reflects the Administration’s resolve to encourage and maintain effective IPR protection and enforcement worldwide. It identifies a wide range of concerns, including troubling “indigenous innovation” policies that may unfairly disadvantage U.S. rights holders in China, the continuing challenges of copyright piracy over the Internet in countries such as Canada, Italy and Russia, and the ongoing, systemic IPR enforcement issues presented in many trading partners around the world.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Report)

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is pleased to publish its third annual Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Report). This report was created to respond to the concerns of U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and workers who confront SPS trade barriers as they seek to export high-quality American food and agricultural products around the world. SPS measures are rules and procedures that governments use to ensure that foods and beverages are safe to consume and to protect animals and plants from pests and diseases.

Many SPS measures are fully justified, but too often governments cloak discriminatory and protectionist trade measures in the guise of ensuring human, animal, or plant safety. These SPS barriers not only harm U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, workers, and their families, they also deprive consumers around the world of access to high-quality American food and agricultural goods. USTR is committed to identifying and combating unwarranted SPS barriers to U.S. food and agricultural exports. USTR’s efforts to remove unwarranted foreign SPS barriers serve the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 through the National Export Initiative.

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Report)

This year the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) publishes its third annual Report on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Report). This report was created to respond to the concerns of U.S. companies, farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers, which increasingly encounter non-tariff trade barriers in the form of product standards, testing requirements, and other technical requirements as they seek to sell products and services around the world. As tariff barriers to industrial and agricultural trade have fallen, standards-related measures of this kind have emerged as a key concern.

Governments, market participants, and other entities can use standards-related measures as an effective and efficient means of achieving legitimate commercial and policy objectives. But when standards-related measures are outdated, overly burdensome, discriminatory, or otherwise inappropriate, these measures can reduce competition, stifle innovation, and create unnecessary technical barriers to trade. These kinds of measures can pose a particular problem for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which often do not have the resources to address these problems on their own. USTR is committed to identifying and combating unwarranted technical barriers to U.S. exports, many of which are detailed in this report. USTR’s efforts to prevent and remove foreign technical barriers serve the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 through the National Export Initiative.

Results of the 2012 Section 1377 Review of Telecommunications Trade Agreements

This 2012 Review addresses several general themes: cross-border data flows and Internet enabled trade in services, including Voice over Internet Protocol services; issues concerning independent and effective regulators; limits on foreign investment; access to major supplier networks; increases in fixed and mobile call termination rates; issues concerning satellites and submarine cable systems; and issues affecting the telecommunications equipment trade.

Although several of the issues in the 2012 Review have been discussed in past Reviews, USTR considers it appropriate to continue to raise these issues and encourage our trading partners to implement appropriate solutions. The 2012 Review describes practices or measures of U.S. trading partners that USTR will actively monitor throughout the year and with respect to which, if warranted, USTR may take further action.

Of particular note this year are progress in resolving a longstanding dispute in Mexico and an encouraging decision by Canada to seek legislative changes to partially open its telecommunications market to fully foreign-owned suppliers. Of growing concern this year, is a trend to impose measures requiring suppliers to use locally-manufactured or developed equipment, a trend now including Brazil.

Annual Report on the Implementation of the Technical Assistance Improvement and Compliance Needs Assessment and Remediation (TAICNAR) Program

The Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2008 (HOPE II) affords preferential treatment for imports of apparel, textiles, and certain other goods from Haiti. On October 16, 2009, as required by HOPE II for continued country eligibility, the President certified to Congress that Haiti has (i) implemented a TAICNAR program; (ii) established a Labor Ombudsperson’s Office; (iii) agreed to require producers of articles for which preferential tariff treatment may be requested to participate in the TAICNAR program; and (iv) developed a system to ensure participation by such producers, including by establishing a producer registry. To remain eligible for preferential treatment, Haiti must also have established or be making continual progress towards establishing the protection of internationally recognized worker rights.

HOPE II calls for the President to submit a report to Congress no later than June 18, 2009, and every year thereafter, regarding the establishment and operation of the Labor Ombudsperson’s Office and certain aspects of the operation of the TAICNAR program. The President has delegated the production of this report to the United States Trade Representative (USTR). This report is to include an explanation of the efforts of Haiti, the President, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) with respect to the Labor Ombudsperson’s Office and the TAICNAR program; a summary of reports prepared by the ILO, as operator of the TAICNAR program, during the preceding one-year period; and, on a biennial basis, the producers that the President has identified as failing to comply with core labor standards and with the labor laws of Haiti that directly relate to and are consistent with core labor standards. While this is USTR’s fourth report, this is the first reporting period that producers have been identified.