On July 23, 2012, USTR published two notices in the Federal Register regarding Canada and Mexico’s inclusion on the list of Trans-Pacific Partnership member countries. USTR announced that it is seeking public comments on all elements related to Canada and Mexico’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations “in order to develop U.S. negotiating positions.” USTR is particularly interested in comments regarding “the reduction or elimination of tariffs or non-tariff barriers in any articles provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States,” as well as “any concessions that should be sought by the United States” or “any new and emerging issues.” USTR plans to review the impact of the TPP agreement on U.S. employment and labor markets at a later date, taking into account the inclusion of Mexico and Canada.
USTR will hold a hearing regarding Mexico’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership on September 21, 2012. A hearing regarding Canada’s participation will be held on September 24, 2012. Interested persons are invited to testify orally at the hearings, but must provide notice by September 4, 2012. Any written comments are due by noon on September 4, 2012. Copies of the notices, which include full lists of suggested topics for submissions and testimony, as well as technical requirements for submissions, can be found here and here. Submissions and notifications of intent to testify may be submitted at regulations.gov.