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USTR Seeks Comments on Telecommunications Trade Agreements


New York, Dec 10, 2007

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking comments on the effectiveness and implementation of trade agreements regarding U.S. telecommunications products and services relative to countries that adhere to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement; the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and various U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) throughout the world.

USTR annually reviews all U.S. trade agreements regarding telecommunications products and services to determine whether any act, policy, or practice of a country that has entered into a telecommunications trade agreement with the U.S. is in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

For the current review, the USTR seeks comments on:

  • Whether any country has inconsistently complied or failed to comply with its telecommunications obligations under an FTA with the U.S., NAFTA, or any other trade agreements;
  • Whether any country has permitted abuse of its judicial system to delay or prevent regulatory action to ensure its compliance with obligations under telecommunications trade agreements; and
  • Whether any measures or practices of interest of a WTO member or FTA participant country impede U.S. access to that country’s telecommunications markets or otherwise deny market opportunities for U.S. telecommunications products and services. Measures or practices of interest include, for example, prohibitions on voice over the Internet (VOIP) services; requirements for access or use of networks that limit the products or services U.S. suppliers can offer in specific markets; and the imposition of unnecessary or discriminatory technical regulations or standards in the telecom product or services sectors.

Click here to access the Federal Register for specific details regarding affected countries and the submission of comments.

Written comments are due no later than 12 noon on December 21, 2007. The public is encouraged to submit documents via e-mail (FR0502@ustr.eop.gov); however, comments may also be faxed to Gloria Blue, executive secretary, Trade Policy Staff Committee (202.395.6143) or mailed (Attn: Section 1377 Comments, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 1724 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20508).

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