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In addition to these four types of conduct, interested parties may submit for consideration information on other acts, policies and practices of China relating to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation described in the President's Memorandum that might be included in this investigation, and/or might be addressed through other applicable mechanisms.

Section 302(b)(1)(A) of the Trade Act authorizes the United States Trade Representative to initiate an investigation to determine whether conduct is actionable under section 301 of the Trade Act.

Actionable conduct under section 301(b)(1) includes, inter alia, acts, policies and practices of a foreign country that are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. Unreasonable actions are those that while not necessarily in violation of, or inconsistent with, the international legal rights of the United States are otherwise unfair and inequitable.

Pursuant to section 302(b)(1)(B), the United States Trade Representative has consulted with appropriate advisory committees. The United States Trade Representative also has consulted with members of the inter-agency Section 301 Committee. On the date of initiation, the United States Trade Representative requested consultations with the Government of China concerning the issues under investigation, pursuant to section 303(a)(1) of the Trade Act ( 19 U.S.C. 2413 (a)(1)).

Pursuant to section 304(a)(2)(B) of the Trade Act, 19 U.S.C. 2414 (a)(2)(B), the United States Trade Representative must determine within 12 months from the date of initiation of the investigation whether any act, policy, or practice described in section 301 of the Trade Acts exists and, if that determination is affirmative, what action, if any, to take.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) invites written comments on:

1. The acts, policies, and practices of the Chinese government described in Section I.B above.

2. Information on other acts, policies and practices of China relating to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation as described in the President's Memorandum, which might be included in this investigation, and/or might be addressed through other applicable mechanisms.

3. The nature and level of burden or restriction on U.S. commerce caused by the applicable acts, policies and practices of the Government of China, and/or any economic assessment of that burden or restriction.

4. The determinations required under section 304 of the Trade Act, that is, whether actionable conduct exists under section 301(b) and what action, if any, should be taken.

To be assured of consideration, USTR must receive initial written comments by 11:59 p.m. on September 28, 2017, in accordance with the instructions in section II.B below.

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When you’re hiring, look past the experience candidates come with, to the potential for them to grow into the perfect fit for your company.

4 minute Read

An electronics retailer hires a CEO who seems to possess the ideal credentials and skills, only to find him ill-prepared to handle changing market dynamics.

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A small brewery, in contrast, picks a project manager lacking in relevant industry experience, based on a hiring consultant’s feeling that the man will succeed. The new hire quickly ascends to a key role in a strong management team that turns the company into a conglomerate.

What’s the difference in the two hires?

Potential–specifically, “the ability to adapt to and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments”–says executive search adviser Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, who was involved with both scenarios. This type of potential is the hallmark of likely success, he says in a recent article based on his book, .

“Having spent 30 years evaluating and tracking executives and studying the factors in their performance, I now consider potential to be the most important predictor of success at all levels, from junior management to the C-suite and the board,” Fernández-Aráoz writes.

“As business becomes more volatile and complex, and the global market for top professionals gets tighter, I am convinced that organizations and their leaders must transition to what I think of as a new era of talent spotting–one in which our evaluations of one another are based not on brawn, brains, experience, or competencies, but on potential,” he says.

For the past few decades, employers have focused on competence, breaking down jobs into “competencies” and seeking candidates with the right blend of them, according to Fernández-Aráoz, senior adviser at executive search firm Egon Zehnder. Competency-based hiring, however, is becoming insufficient in “a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment,” he says.

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“The question is not whether your company’s employees and leaders have the right skills; it’s whether they have the potential to learn new ones.”

The Need For More Leaders

The ability to choose such employees will be more critical in coming years, as globalization, demographics, and underdeveloped pipelines of future company leaders will make senior talent more scarce, the executive search consultant predicts. He cites a Boston Consulting Group survey showing that 56% of executives see “critical gaps” in their ability to fill senior management roles in coming years.

“When choosing a CEO or board member, as opposed to a young manager, you’ll often find that several candidates have the right credentials, experience, and competencies. That’s why an accurate assessment of their motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination is all the more important,” Fernández-Aráoz writes.

Most corporate “high potential” programs that fast-track promising managers really are populated with employees who’ve performed well in the past and are assumed to have the best chance of doing well in the future, he says. But, he says “that is no longer a safe prediction.”

How To Hire For Potential

While it’s easier to measure past performance, it’s also possible to evaluate potential, he says. Zehnder looks for indicators such as the right kind of motivation: great ambition to leave a mark in the pursuit of greater, unselfish goals. “High potentials … show deep personal humility and invest in getting better at everything they do,” he says.

Four other hallmarks of potential, he adds, are curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination.

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Other human resources experts see merit in Fernández-Aráoz’s approach–to a point.

“We’ve had that. We’ve had the person with all those right things, was the perfect fit for the job, but the motivation wasn’t there. The motivation wasn’t there for the person to succeed for the company,” rather than primarily for himself, recalls Doug Seville, cofounder and director of DSML Executive Search.

Businesses may focus on hiring someone with eight to 10 years of experience, Seville says, but sometimes that’s really “one year’s experience times eight.”

Seville once asked a bank credit risk manager how long it would take someone to learn his job, with 85% of the capabilities. The answer? Two months.

HR consultant William Tincup, CEO of Tincup Co., says the potential-oriented strategy will work with some firms in some instances, but isn’t a magic bullet.

“I think Claudio is on to something. At the center of this discussion is what can and cannot be taught,” Tincup says. Adaptability would be useful in an environment where it was valued and supported, in alignment with firm values and objectives, he says.

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“When hiring I tend to look for passion, intelligence, and ambition. After I solve for cultural fit … I then care deeply about competence,” Tincup says.

Seville suggests that those making hiring decisions may make incorrect assumptions based on what they see on paper. When young, he decided that a particular job candidate who had worked at a major discount retailer lacked the credentials for a certain position. When the person he was interested in hiring instead recommended that same candidate, Seville hired her and found out that she was “phenomenal.”

Seville also mentions a friend in the produce business who doesn’t look for employees with produce experience. The friend told Seville he can teach employees how to handle produce, but can’t teach them how to be nice to a customer.

Hiring for potential, though, depends on the industry, Seville says. “To be a dentist, you have to be well trained,” Seville notes.

Companies that don’t recognize employee potential can lose out.

“I think sometimes the management of the company really stands in the way of the individual,” Seville says, recalling one creative sales employee. “Management stifled her all along until she finally left.”

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Associated Press Dow Jones Newswires,

Dinah Wisenberg Brin

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