The ITC determines whether imports injure or threaten to injure U.S. industries under a number of trade laws. Trade Remedy investigations at the ITC include:
Antidumping and countervailing duty investigations
U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value (“dumped”) or that benefit from countervailable subsidies provided through foreign government programs (“subsidized”). Dumping and certain subsidizing are considered unfair trade practices.
The ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce both have roles in these investigations, but each addresses a different question. Commerce determines whether the alleged dumping or subsidizing is happening, and if so, the margin of dumping or amount of subsidy. The ITC determines whether the U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of the imports under investigation. If both Commerce and the ITC reach affirmative final determinations on their individual questions, then Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order to offset the dumping or a countervailing duty order to offset the subsidy.
Five-year (Sunset) Reviews
The Department of Commerce must revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless Commerce and the ITC determine that doing so would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (ITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time.
Each agency conducts reviews on its separate question. If either agency makes a negative determination, the antidumping or countervailing duty order will be revoked. If both agencies make affirmative determinations, the antidumping or countervailing duty order will remain in place.
Intellectual property rights infringement and other unfair acts (section 337 investigations)
The ITC investigates certain alleged unfair practices in import trade. Most complaints under this provision involve allegations of patent infringement or trademark infringement.
Parties in these investigations include the complainants, the respondents, and an ITC attorney who represents the public interest. Each investigation is assigned to one of the ITC's four Administrative Law Judges, who oversees an extensive discovery process and holds an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ makes an initial determination of whether there is a violation of the law (section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930); the ALJ's determination is then subject to review and possible modification by the Commission. Remedies available under this law are exclusion orders that direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to exclude infringing products from entry into the United States and/or orders that direct entities to cease and desist from certain actions.
Global and special safeguard investigations
Domestic industries seriously injured or threatened with serious injury by a surge of imports may petition the ITC for import relief. Global safeguard investigations do not require the finding of an unfair trade practice. Relief provided under this law is temporary in order to provide an industry with time to adjust to import competition.
The ITC conducts an investigation, and if the Commission makes an affirmative determination, it recommends to the President relief that would remedy the injury and facilitate industry adjustment to import competition. The President makes the final decision whether to provide relief and the type and duration of relief.
China safeguard investigations
Domestic producers can obtain relief under this provision if the ITC finds that increased imports of Chinese products are causing or threatening to cause market disruption. Similar to global safeguard investigations, if the Commission makes an affirmative determination, it also proposes a remedy to the President. The President makes the final decision concerning whether to provide relief to the U.S. industry and the type and duration of relief.
Trade remedy assistance for small businesses
The ITC's Trade Remedy Assistance Office provides information to small businesses concerning the remedies and benefits available under U.S. trade laws and provides technical and legal assistance to eligible small businesses seeking remedies.