DOC Reopens Trade Advisory Committee Membership to Registered Lobbyists
The Department of Commerce has revised a February 2014 notice requesting nominations for members of the following 16 industry trade advisory committees to indicate that most federally registered lobbyists are once again eligible to serve. DOC states that there are currently opportunities for membership on each ITAC and that because appointments will be made on a rolling basis nominations will be accepted through Feb. 14, 2018.
ITAC 1 – aerospace equipment
ITAC 2 – automotive equipment and capital goods
ITAC 3 – chemicals, pharmaceuticals, health/science products and services
ITAC 4 – consumer goods
ITAC 5 – distribution services
ITAC 6 – energy and energy services
ITAC 7 – forest products
ITAC 8 – information and communications technologies, services and electronic commerce
ITAC 9 – building materials, construction and nonferrous metals
ITAC 10 – services and finance industries
ITAC 11 – small and minority business
ITAC 12 – steel
ITAC 13 – textiles and clothing
ITAC 14 – customs matters and trade facilitation
ITAC 15 – intellectual property rights
ITAC 16 – standards and technical trade barriers
The ITACs provide detailed policy and technical advice, information and recommendations to DOC and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding trade barriers, the negotiation of trade agreements and the implementation of existing trade agreements affecting industry sectors. They address market-access problems, barriers to trade, tariff levels, discriminatory foreign procurement practices, and the information, marketing and advocacy needs of their industry sector. Other trade policy issues may be addressed in ad hoc working groups created by the ITACs.
Federally-registered lobbyists had been prohibited from serving on ITACs for several years under a White House policy designed to “reduce the influence of lobbyists in Washington out of a belief that lobbyists have too often in the past achieved disproportionate impact on government decision makers at the expense of broader voices from the public at large.” However, effective Aug. 13 this ban was lifted with respect to lobbyists appointed in a representative capacity; i.e., appointed for the express purpose of providing the views of a non-governmental entity, a recognizable group of persons or non-governmental entities (an industry sector, labor unions, environmental groups, etc.), or a state or local government. As a result, both DOC and USTR will now consider nominations of federally-registered lobbyists for appointment on the 16 ITACs. All other eligibility requirements continue to apply.