On September 22, 2016, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule [Docket No. USTR-2016-0016] that would establish subpart A, which contains definitions used throughout part 2004, and subpart D, which includes the requirements and procedures for demanding or requesting parties to submit demands or requests, and factors for USTR to consider in determining whether USTR employees will provide records, information or testimony relating to their official duties in connection with legal proceedings in which neither the United States nor USTR is a party (commonly referred to as Touhy rules). This is part of a USTR effort renaming and reorganizing 15 C.F.R. part 2004 to include all of the rules governing disclosure of records and information by USTR. Part 2004 will include four subparts – subpart A will contain definitions used throughout part 2004, subpart B will implement the Freedom of Information Act, subpart C will implement the Privacy Act of 1974, and subpart D will govern how USTR responds to official demands and informal requests for records, information or employee testimony in connection with legal proceedings in which neither the United States nor USTR is a party.
USTR must receive written comments on or before November 21, 2016.