Initiation of Section 302 Investigation and Request for Public Comment: Practices of the Government of Canada and of the Province of Ontario Regarding Measures Affecting Tourism and Sport Fishing

Summary

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has initiated an investigation under section 302(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2412(a)), with respect to certain acts, policies and practices of the Government of Canada and of the Province of Ontario that may discriminate against U.S. providers of tourism services. USTR invites written comments from the public on the matters being investigated and the determinations to be made under section 304 of the Trade Act.

Full text

SUMMARY: The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has initiated an 
investigation under section 302(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended 
(the Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2412(a)), with respect to certain acts, 
policies and practices of the Government of Canada and of the Province 
of Ontario that may discriminate against U.S. providers of tourism 
services. USTR invites written comments from the public on the matters 
being investigated and the determinations to be made under section 304 
of the Trade Act.

DATES: This investigation was initiated on April 29, 1999. Written 
comments from the public are due on or before noon on June 25, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th 
Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20508.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Ryckman, Director for Canadian 
Affairs, (202) 395-3412, or Steven F. Fabry, Assistant General Counsel, 
(202) 395-3582.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 15, 1999, the Border Waters 
Coalition Against Discrimination in Services Trade filed a petition 
pursuant to section 302(a) of the Trade Act alleging that certain acts, 
policies and practices of the Government of Canada and the Province of 
Ontario are actionable under section 301.
    In particular, the petition alleges that Ontario impairs the 
ability of Minnesota tourist establishments (fishing resorts, fishing 
guides, outfitters, and others) to compete against their Canadian 
counterparts by prohibiting U.S. recreational fishermen from keeping 
the fish that they catch if the fishermen lodge on the Minnesota side 
of certain lakes that straddle the U.S.-Canadian border. U.S. fishermen 
who lodge instead in Ontario tourist establishments are permitted to 
keep their catch. The petition alleges that, as a result, U.S. resorts, 
fishing guides, and other businesses tied to sport fishing suffer 
discrimination. The petition further alleges that Canadian immigration 
officials require U.S. fishing guides to obtain Canadian work 
authorizations to guide fishing trips into Canada. The petition also 
alleges that these acts, policies or practices have caused a sharp 
fall-off in the tourism industry, which directly or indirectly 
generates over $700 million in revenues per year in the Minnesota 
counties bordering Ontario.

Investigation and Consultations

    On April 29, 1999, the USTR determined that an investigation should 
be initiated to determine whether certain acts, policies and practices 
of the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario regarding sport 
fishing and tourism are actionable under section 301.
    Pursuant to section 303(b) of the Trade Act, the USTR has postponed 
its request for consultations with the Government of Canada for the 
purpose of verifying or improving the petition to ensure an adequate 
basis for consultation.

Public Comment: Requirements for Submissions

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning the acts, policies and practices of Canada which are the 
subject of this investigation, the amount of burden or restriction on 
U.S. commerce caused by these acts, policies and practices, and the 
determinations required under section 304 of the Trade Act. Comments 
must be filed in accordance with the requirements set forth in 15 CFR 
2006.8(b) and must be filed on or before noon on June 25, 1999. 
Comments must be in English and provided in twenty copies to: Sybia 
Harrison, Staff Assistant to the Section 301 Committee, Room 100, 
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW, 
Washington, DC 20508.
    Comments will be placed in a file (Docket 301-119) open to public 
inspection pursuant to 15 CFR 2006.13, except confidential business 
information exempt from public inspection in accordance with 15 CFR 
2006.15. Confidential business information submitted in accordance with 
15 CFR 2006.15 must be clearly marked ``BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL'' in a 
contrasting color ink at the top of each page on each of 20 copies, and 
must be accompanied by a nonconfidential summary of the confidential 
information. The nonconfidential summary shall be placed in the file 
that is open to public inspection. Copies of the public version of the 
petition and other relevant documents are available for public 
inspection in the USTR Reading Room. An appointment to review the 
docket may be made by calling Brenda Webb at (202) 395-6186. The USTR 
Reading Room is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:00 
p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located in Room 101.
William L. Busis,
Chairman, Section 301 Committee.
[FR Doc. 99-13417 Filed 5-25-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3190-01-M  

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