USTR will collect comments from the general public through Feb. 7 and comments from foreign governments through Feb. 21, the agency said.
The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee Special 301 Subcommittee will hold a public hearing Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C. USTR will collect post-hearing written comments from people who testified at the public hearing through March 5 and plans to publish the 2019 Special 301 Report on or about April 26, the agency said.
Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, commonly known as the “Special 301” provisions, requires USTR to identify countries that deny adequate and effective IP protections or fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on IP protection.
Those provisions also require USTR to determine any countries to identify as priority foreign countries.
“Acts, policies or practices that are the basis of a country’s identification as a priority foreign country can be subject to the procedures set out in sections 301-305 of the Trade Act,” USTR said in its announcement.
USTR imposed Section 301 tariffs against China, which started July 6, but Special 301 reviews haven’t typically led, in and of themselves, to the imposition of tariffs and/or quotas.
USTR maintains a priority watch list and watch list to assist the executive branch in pursuing the goals of Special 301 provisions.
Trading partners put on the priority watch list are the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning problem areas regarding IP administration and market access.
“USTR invites written comments that provide specific references to laws, regulations, policy statements, including innovation policies, executive, presidential or other orders and administrative, court or other determinations that should factor in the review,” the agency said. “USTR also requests that, where relevant, submissions mention particular regions, provinces, states or other subdivisions of a country in which an act, policy or practice is believed to warrant special attention.”