USTR - Frequently Asked Questions Regarding FOIA
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The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding FOIA


Who is the USTR's Chief FOIA Officer?

Carmen Suro-Bredie, AUSTR for Policy and Coordination
Telephone: 202-395-4755
Fax: 202-395-5141
E-mail: csuro-bredie@ustr.eop.gov


Who is the FOIA Public Liaison?  

The FOIA Public Liaison is Ms. Jacqui Caldwell
Telephone: 202-395-3419
Fax: 202-395-9458  


What is the number for the FOIA Requestor Service Center?

Ms. Jacqui Caldwell
Telephone: 202-395-3419
Fax: 202-395-9458


How do I make a FOIA request to USTR?

You must write USTR with your specific request. Address the request to the Freedom of Information Office, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508. You must describe the records you seek in enough detail to enable USTR personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter of the record. As a general rule, the more specific one is about the records or type of records wanted, the more likely USTR will be able to locate those records in response to your request. Click here for more information.

How do I submit a FOIA request? 

All requests for records must be in writing and should be addressed to: 

Freedom of Information Officer
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
1724 F St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20508 

Please note that for security reasons, USTR’s receipt and processing of mail may be delayed.  Therefore, you can also fax your request to (202) 395-9458. 

The requester must describe the records that he/she seeks in enough detail to enable USTR personnel to locate them in a reasonable amount of time.  The request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter of the record.


How do I appeal a response to my FOIA request?

In the event that you are dissatisfied with USTR’s determination, you may appeal such a denial, within thirty (30) days, in writing to:

Freedom of Information Officer
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
1724 F St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20508 
                           
          

Please note that for security reasons, USTR’s receipt and processing of mail may be delayed.  Therefore, you should fax your appeal to (202) 395-9458.

Both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked:  “Freedom of Information Act Appeal”.  In the event you are dissatisfied with the results of any such appeal, judicial review will thereafter be available to you in the United States District Court for the judicial district in which you reside or have your principal place of business, or in the District of Columbia, where we searched for the records you seek.     


How can I check on the status of my request?

Either write the FOIA Office at the same address above or call (202) 395-3419. Questions from the media should be directed to the USTR Press Office at (202) 395-3230.


How long will it take to have my request fulfilled?

The FOIA allows agencies a period of 20 business days to process an initial request. This period may be extended under unusual circumstances to 30 business days. USTR will ordinarily respond to requests according to the order of receipt. However, when USTR has a significant number of pending requests that prevents a response in 20 working days, the request shall be processed in a multitrack system.


Will there be any costs?

Certain persons requesting records from USTR will be charged for the direct costs of search, review and duplication, unless such costs are less than $14.00. You may view USTR's fee schedule, fee waivers and other related information here.


What are the FOIA exemptions?

The FOIA permits agencies to protect certain types or categories of information from public disclosure. You can read a summary of each exemption and your rights to challenge the assertion of an exemption here.


If I am not satisfied with the response from USTR, do I have a right of appeal?

Yes you do. You must make your appeal in writing and it must be received by USTR within 60 days of the date of the letter from USTR denying your request. The appeal letter many include as much or as little related information as you wish, so long as it clearly identifies the determination that is being appealed. For the quickest possible handling, the appeal letter and envelope should be marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal," and the letter of appeal should include the request number assigned to your initial request. For more information, click here.