United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 10, 2019

§ 2155.
Information and advice from private and public sectors
(a)
In general
(1)
The President shall seek information and advice from representative elements of the private sector and the non-Federal governmental sector with respect to—
(A)
negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before entering into a trade agreement under this subchapter or section 4202 of this title;
(B)
the operation of any trade agreement once entered into, including preparation for dispute settlement panel proceedings to which the United States is a party; and
(C)
other matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of the trade policy of the United States, including those matters referred to in Reorganization Plan Number 3 of 1979 and Executive Order Numbered 12188, and the priorities for actions thereunder.
To the maximum extent feasible, such information and advice on negotiating objectives shall be sought and considered before the commencement of negotiations.
(2)
The President shall consult with representative elements of the private sector and the non-Federal governmental sector on the overall current trade policy of the United States. The consultations shall include, but are not limited to, the following elements of such policy:
(A)
The principal multilateral and bilateral trade negotiating objectives and the progress being made toward their achievement.
(B)
The implementation, operation, and effectiveness of recently concluded multilateral and bilateral trade agreements and resolution of trade disputes.
(C)
The actions taken under the trade laws of the United States and the effectiveness of such actions in achieving trade policy objectives.
(D)
Important developments in other areas of trade for which there must be developed a proper policy response.
(3)
The President shall take the advice received through consultation under paragraph (2) into account in determining the importance which should be placed on each major objective and negotiating position that should be adopted in order to achieve the overall trade policy of the United States.
(b)
Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations
(1)
The President shall establish an Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations to provide overall policy advice on matters referred to in subsection (a). The committee shall be composed of not more than 45 individuals and shall include representatives of non-Federal governments, labor, industry, agriculture, small business, service industries, retailers, nongovernmental environmental and conservation organizations, and consumer interests. The committee shall be broadly representative of the key sectors and groups of the economy, particularly with respect to those sectors and groups which are affected by trade. Members of the committee shall be recommended by the United States Trade Representative and appointed by the President for a term of 4 years or until the committee is scheduled to expire. An individual may be reappointed to committee for any number of terms. Appointments to the Committee 1
1
 So in original. Probably should not be capitalized.
shall be made without regard to political affiliation.
(2)
The committee shall meet as needed at the call of the United States Trade Representative or at the call of two-thirds of the members of the committee. The chairman of the committee shall be elected by the committee from among its members.
(3)
The United States Trade Representative shall make available to the committee such staff, information, personnel, and administrative services and assistance as it may reasonably require to carry out its activities.
(c)
General policy, sectoral, or functional advisory committees
(1)
The President may establish individual general policy advisory committees for industry, labor, agriculture, services, investment, defense, and other interests, as appropriate, to provide general policy advice on matters referred to in subsection (a). Such committees shall, insofar as is practicable, be representative of all industry, labor, agricultural, service, investment, defense, and other interests, respectively, including small business interests, and shall be organized by the United States Trade Representative and the Secretaries of Commerce, Defense, Labor, Agriculture, the Treasury, or other executive departments, as appropriate. The members of such committees shall be appointed by the United States Trade Representative in consultation with such Secretaries.
(2)
The President shall establish such sectoral or functional advisory committees as may be appropriate. Such committees shall, insofar as is practicable, be representative of all industry, labor, agricultural, or service interests (including small business interests) in the sector or functional areas concerned. In organizing such committees, the United States Trade Representative and the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, Agriculture, the Treasury, or other executive departments, as appropriate, shall—
(A)
consult with interested private organizations; and
(B)
take into account such factors as—
(i)
patterns of actual and potential competition between United States industry and agriculture and foreign enterprise in international trade,
(ii)
the character of the nontariff barriers and other distortions affecting such competition,
(iii)
the necessity for reasonable limits on the number of such advisory committees,
(iv)
the necessity that each committee be reasonably limited in size, and
(v)
in the case of each sectoral committee, that the product lines covered by each committee be reasonably related.
(3)
The President—
(A)
may, if necessary, establish policy advisory committees representing non-Federal governmental interests to provide policy advice—
(i)
on matters referred to in subsection (a), and
(ii)
with respect to implementation of trade agreements, and
(B)
shall include as members of committees established under subparagraph (A) representatives of non-Federal governmental interests if he finds such inclusion appropriate after consultation by the United States Trade Representative with such representatives.
(4)
Appointments to each committee established under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) shall be made without regard to political affiliation.
(d)
Policy, technical, and other advice and information

Committees established under subsection (c) shall meet at the call of the United States Trade Representative and the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Defense, or other executive departments, as appropriate, to provide policy advice, technical advice and information, and advice on other factors relevant to the matters referred to in subsection (a).

(e)
Meeting of advisory committees at conclusion of negotiations
(1)
The Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, each appropriate policy advisory committee, and each sectoral or functional advisory committee, if the sector or area which such committee represents is affected, shall meet at the conclusion of negotiations for each trade agreement entered into under section 4202 of this title, to provide to the President, to Congress, and to the United States Trade Representative a report on such agreement. Each report that applies to a trade agreement entered into under section 4202 of this title shall be provided under the preceding sentence not later than the date that is 30 days after the date on which the President notifies Congress under section 4205(a)(1)(A) of this title of his intention to enter into that agreement.
(2)
The report of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and each appropriate policy advisory committee shall include an advisory opinion as to whether and to what extent the agreement promotes the economic interests of the United States and achieves the applicable overall and principal negotiating objectives set forth in section 4201 of this title, as appropriate.
(3)
The report of the appropriate sectoral or functional committee under paragraph (1) shall include an advisory opinion as to whether the agreement provides for equity and reciprocity within the sector or within the functional area.
(f)
Application of Federal Advisory Committee Act
The provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act apply—
(1)
to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations established under subsection (b); and
(2)
to all other advisory committees which may be established under subsection (c) of this section, except that—
(A)
the meetings of advisory committees established under subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall be exempt from the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of sections 10 and 11 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (relating to open meetings, public notice, public participation, and public availability of documents), whenever and to the extent it is determined by the President or the President’s designee that such meetings will be concerned with matters the disclosure of which would seriously compromise the development by the United States Government of trade policy, priorities, negotiating objectives, or bargaining positions with respect to matters referred to in subsection (a) of this section, and that meetings may be called of such special task forces, plenary meetings of chairmen, or other such groups made up of members of the committees established under subsections (b) and (c) of this section; and
(B)
notwithstanding subsection (a)(2) of section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, any committee established under subsection (b) or (c) may, in the discretion of the President or the President’s designee, terminate not later than the expiration of the 4-year period beginning on the date of its establishment.
(g)
Trade secrets and confidential information
(1)
Trade secrets and commercial or financial information which is privileged or confidential, and which is submitted in confidence by the private sector or non-Federal government to officers or employees of the United States in connection with trade negotiations, may be disclosed upon request to—
(A)
officers and employees of the United States designated by the United States Trade Representative;
(B)
members of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate who are designated as official advisers under section 2211(a)(1) of this title or are designated by the chairmen of either such committee under section 2211(b)(3)(A) of this title and staff members of either such committee designated by the chairmen under section 2211(b)(3)(A) of this title; and
(C)
members of any committee of the House or Senate or any joint committee of Congress who are designated as advisers under section 2211(a)(2) of this title or designated by the chairman of such committee under section 2211(b)(3)(B) of this title and staff members of such committee designated under section 2211(b)(3)(B) of this title, but disclosure may be made under this subparagraph only with respect to trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is relevant to trade policy matters or negotiations that are within the legislative jurisdiction of such committee;
for use in connection with matters referred to in subsection (a).
(2)
Information other than that described in paragraph (1), and advice submitted in confidence by the private sector or non-Federal government to officers or employees of the United States, to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, or to any advisory committee established under subsection (c), in connection with matters referred to in subsection (a), may be disclosed upon request to—
(A)
the individuals described in paragraph (1); and
(B)
the appropriate advisory committee established under this section.
(3)
Information submitted in confidence by officers or employees of the United States to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, or to any advisory committee established under subsection (c), may be disclosed in accordance with rules issued by the United States Trade Representative and the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, Defense, Agriculture, or other executive departments, as appropriate, after consultation with the relevant advisory committees established under subsection (c). Such rules shall define the categories of information which require restricted or confidential handling by such committee considering the extent to which public disclosure of such information can reasonably be expected to prejudice the development of trade policy, priorities, or United States negotiating objectives. Such rules shall, to the maximum extent feasible, permit meaningful consultations by advisory committee members with persons affected by matters referred to in subsection (a).
(h)
Advisory committee support

The United States Trade Representative, and the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, Defense, Agriculture, the Treasury, or other executive departments, as appropriate, shall provide such staff, information, personnel, and administrative services and assistance to advisory committees established under subsection (c) as such committees may reasonably require to carry out their activities.

(i)
Consultation with advisory committees; procedures; nonacceptance of committee advice or recommendations
It shall be the responsibility of the United States Trade Representative, in conjunction with the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, Agriculture, the Treasury, or other executive departments, as appropriate, to adopt procedures for consultation with and obtaining information and advice from the advisory committees established under subsection (c) on a continuing and timely basis. Such consultation shall include the provision of information to each advisory committee as to—
(1)
significant issues and developments; and
(2)
overall negotiating objectives and positions of the United States and other parties;
with respect to matters referred to in subsection (a). The United States Trade Representative shall not be bound by the advice or recommendations of such advisory committees, but shall inform the advisory committees of significant departures from such advice or recommendations made. In addition, in the course of consultations with the Congress under this subchapter, information on the advice and information provided by advisory committees shall be made available to congressional advisers.
(j)
Private organizations or groups

In addition to any advisory committee established under this section, the President shall provide adequate, timely and continuing opportunity for the submission on an informal basis (and, if such information is submitted under the provisions of subsection (g), on a confidential basis) by private organizations or groups, representing government, labor, industry, agriculture, small business, service industries, consumer interests, and others, of statistics, data and other trade information, as well as policy recommendations, pertinent to any matter referred to in subsection (a).

(k)
Scope of participation by members of advisory committees

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to authorize or permit any individual to participate directly in any negotiation of any matters referred to in subsection (a). To the maximum extent practicable, the members of the committees established under subsections (b) and (c), and other appropriate parties, shall be informed and consulted before and during any such negotiations. They may be designated as advisors to a negotiating delegation, and may be permitted to participate in international meetings to the extent the head of the United States delegation deems appropriate. However, they may not speak or negotiate for the United States.

(l)
Advisory committees established by Department of Agriculture

The provisions of title XVIII of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2281 et seq.) shall not apply to any advisory committee established under subsection (c).

(m)
“Non-Federal government” defined
As used in this section, the term “non-Federal government” means—
(1)
any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or any political subdivision thereof; or
(2)
any agency or instrumentality of any entity described in paragraph (1).
(Pub. L. 93–618, title I, § 135, Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 1996; Pub. L. 96–39, title XI, § 1103, July 26, 1979, 93 Stat. 308; Pub. L. 98–573, title III, § 306(c)(2)(B), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 3011; Pub. L. 99–514, title XVIII, § 1887(a)(2), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2923; Pub. L. 100–418, title I, § 1631, Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1264; Pub. L. 103–465, title I, §§ 127(f), 128, Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4836; Pub. L. 107–210, div. B, title XXI, § 2110(a)(5), Aug. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 1020; Pub. L. 108–429, title II, § 2004(i)(1), (2), Dec. 3, 2004, 118 Stat. 2594, 2595; Pub. L. 109–280, title XIV, § 1635(f)(2), Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 1171; Pub. L. 114–26, title I, § 110(a)(5), June 29, 2015, 129 Stat. 357.)
cite as: 19 USC 2155