International Trade Commission

United States International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission furnishes studies, reports, and
recommendations involving international trade and tariffs to the President, the U.S.
Trade Representative, and congressional committees. The Commission also conducts a
variety of investigations pertaining to international trade relief.

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is an independent
agency created by the Revenue Act (39 Stat. 795) and originally named the
United States Tariff Commission. The name was changed to the United States
International Trade Commission by section 171 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19
U.S.C. 2231).

Six Commissioners are appointed by the President with the advice and consent
of the Senate for 9-year terms, unless appointed to ?ll an unexpired term.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman are designated by the President for 2-year
terms, and succeeding Chairmen may not be of the same political party. The
Chairman generally is responsible for the administration of the Commission. Not
more than three Commissioners may be members of the same political party (19
U.S.C. 1330).

Legal Materials

The U.S. International Trade Commission “provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches of government, determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries, and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as patent, trademark, and copyright infringement.”

The Commission’s Web site provides information about the Commission and its publications, investigations and cases (

The ITC has an RSS Feed Generator that notifies you when petitions, complaints and other documents are filed with the ITC. Otherwise, you can just check the docket notification page periodically, or use a system like Change Detection to track changes for you. Commercial services like Docket Navigator also allow you to track individual dockets and to set up alerts for new case filings involving a particular party.

ITC opinions and other documents back to 1975 are searchable on Westlaw (FINT-ITC). Section 337 dockets and filings are available on Courtlink, Docket Navigator, andBloombergLaw.

Documents filed in ITC cases are available free through the EDIS system.

The U.S. International Trade Library on HeinOnline contains a large collection of ITC materials going back to 1966. Many concern Section 337, which provides for expedited proceedings before the ITC to decide patent, trademark and copyright infringement claims concerning imported goods.


The Commission performs a number of functions pursuant to the statutes referred
to above. Under the Tariff Act of 1930, the Commission is given broad powers
of investigation relating to the customs laws of the United States and foreign
countries; the volume of importation in comparison with domestic production
and consumption; the conditions, causes, and effects relating to competition of
foreign industries with those of the United States; and all other factors
affecting competition between articles of the United States and imported
articles. The Commission is required, whenever requested, to make available
to the President, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate
Committee on Finance all information at its command and is directed to make
such investigations and reports as may be requested by the President, Congress, or
the committees mentioned above.

In order to carry out these responsibilities, the Commission is
required to engage in extensive research, conduct specialized studies, and
maintain a high degree of expertise in all matters relating to the commercial and
international trade policies of the United States.

Imported Articles Subsidized or Sold at Less Than Fair Value

The Commission conducts preliminary-phase investigations to determine whether imports of foreign merchandise allegedly being subsidized or sold at less than fair value injure
or threaten to injure an industry in the United States. If the Commission’s
determination is af?rmative and the Secretary of Commerce determines there is reason to believe or suspect such unfair practices are occurring, then the Commission conducts ?nal-phase investigations to determine the injury or threat of injury to an industry because of such imports.

Under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, the Commission also conducts
sunset reviews. In these reviews, the Commission evaluates whether material
injury to a U.S. industry would continue or recur if the antidumping duty or
countervailing duty order under review were revoked. Such injury reviews must
be conducted on all antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders every 5
years for as long as the orders remain in effect.

Unfair Practices in Import Trade

The Commission applies U.S. statutory and common law of unfair competition to the
importation of products into the United States and their sale. If the Commission
determines that there is a violation of law, it is to direct that the articles involved
be excluded from entry into the United States, or it may issue cease-and-desist
orders directing the person engaged in such violation to cease and desist from
engaging in such unfair methods or acts.

Trade Negotiations

The Commission advises the President as to the probable economic effect on the domestic industry and on consumers of modi?cation of duties and other barriers to trade that may be considered for inclusion in any proposed trade agreement with foreign countries.

Generalized System of Preferences

With respect to articles that may be considered for preferential removal of
the duty on imports from designated developing countries, the Commission
advises the President as to the probable economic effect such removal will
have on the domestic industry and on consumers.

Market Disruption From Communist Countries

The Commission conducts investigations to determine whether increased imports of an article produced in a Communist country are causing market disruption in the
United States. If the Commission’s determination is in the af?rmative, the
President may take the same action as in the case of serious injury to an
industry, except that the action would apply only to imports of the article from
the Communist country. Commission investigations conducted under this
provision are similar procedurally to those conducted under the global
safeguard action provisions.

Import Interference With Agricultural Programs

The Commission conducts investigations, at the direction of the
President, to determine whether imports or potential imports may interfere
with the Department of Agriculture’s agricultural programs or reduce the
amount of any product processed in the United States. After investigating,
the Commission discloses ?ndings and makes recommendations. The
President may then restrict the imports in question by imposing import fees
or quotas. Such fees or quotas may be applied only against countries that
are not members of the World Trade Organization.

Uniform Statistical Data

The Commission, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the
Secretary of Commerce, establishes for statistical purposes an enumeration of
articles imported into the United States and exported from the United States and
seeks to establish comparability of such statistics with statistical programs for
domestic production.

Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, Annotated

The Commission issues a publication containing the U.S. tariff schedules and related matters and considers questions concerning the arrangement of such schedules and the classi?cation of articles.

International Trade Studies

The Commission conducts studies, investigations, and research projects
on a broad range of topics relating to international trade, pursuant to requests
of the President, the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance
Committee, either branch of the Congress, or on its own motion. Public
reports of these studies, investigations, and research projects are issued in most

The Commission also keeps informed of the operation and effect of provisions relating to duties or other import restrictions of the United States contained in various trade agreements. Occasionally, the Commission is required by statute to perform speci?c trade-related studies.

For further information, contact the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, Washington, DC. Internet webiste is

Cease-and-desist order

Find more information on Cease-and-desist order in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.


Find more information on Discovery in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.


Find more information on Hearing in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.

International Trade Commission

Find more information on International Trade Commission in relation to the Customs Trade Law in the legal Encyclopedias.


Find more information on Procedure in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.

Protective action by the International Trade Commission: Background

Find more information on Protective action by the International Trade Commission: Background in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.

Remedies: Exclusion from entry

Find more information on Remedies: Exclusion from entry in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.


Find more information on Review in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.

Settlement and pretrial termination

Find more information on Settlement and pretrial termination in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.

The determination

Find more information on The determination in relation to the Unfair Trade and Import Competition Regulation in the legal Encyclopedias.

Worldwide: the International Trade Center (ITC) Agency

Find more information on Worldwide: the International Trade Center (ITC) Agency in the legal Encyclopedias.

See Also

Federal Trade Commission
International Trade
United States Court of International Trade

International Trade Commission

U.S. International Trade Commission (International Protection)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of u.s. international trade commission. Then, cross references and a brief overview about International Protection is provided. Finally, the subject of Trademark Protection in relation with u.s. international trade commission is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.


See Also

US International Trade Commission.


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