http://www.usitc.gov The USITC is an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency that provides objective 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. USITC analysts and economists investigate and publish reports on U.S. industries and the global trends that affect them. The agency also updates and publishes the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. The information on this server is updated frequently and new sections may be added periodically. While we can't promise to respond, we welcome your comments and suggestions for making this server more useful to you. General information about the USITC and its Commissioners WHAT THE USITC IS....AND ISN'T: The USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency. Established by Congress in 1916 as the U.S. Tariff Commission (the Trade Act of 1974 changed its name to the U.S. International Trade Commission), the agency has broad investigative powers on matters of trade. The USITC is a national resource where trade data are gathered and analyzed. The data are provided to the President and Congress as part of the information on which U.S. trade policy is based. USITC activities include: determining whether U.S. industries are materially injured by reason of imports that benefit from pricing at less than fair value or from subsidization; directing actions, subject to Presidential disapproval, against unfair trade practices such as patent, trademark, or copyright infringement; making recommendations to the President regarding relief for industries seriously injured by increasing imports; advising the President whether agricultural imports interfere with price-support programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; conducting studies on trade and tariff issues and monitoring import levels; and, participating in the development of uniform statistical data on imports, exports, and domestic production and in the establishment of an international harmonized commodity code. The USITC is NOT a policymaking body. It is NOT a court of law. It does NOT negotiate trade agreements. WHAT THE USITC DOES: The USITC performs a number of functions. In countervailing duty and antidumping investigations, which involve either subsidies provided to foreign companies through government programs or the selling of foreign products in the United States at less than fair value, the USITC works in concert with the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department determines whether the alleged subsidies or dumping are actually occurring and, if so, at what levels (called the subsidy or dumping "margin"). The USITC determines whether the U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of the dumped or subsidized imports. If the Commerce Department's final subsidy or dumping determination and the USITC's final injury determination are both affirmative, the Commerce Department issues an order to the U.S. Customs Service to impose duties. The USITC also assesses whether U.S. industries are being seriously injured by fairly traded imports and can recommend to the President that relief be provided to those industries to facilitate positive adjustment to import competition. Relief could take the form of increased tariffs or quotas on imports and/or adjustment assistance for the domestic industry. The USITC functions as the government's think tank on international trade, conducting objective studies on many international trade matters, including nearly every commodity imported into or exported from the United States as well as any topic requested by the President, the Senate Committee on Finance or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The USITC has an extensive library of international trade resources called the National Library of International Trade, which is open to the public during agency hours. The USITC frequently holds hearings as part of its investigations and studies; the hearings are generally open to the public and the media. The USITC makes determinations in investigations involving unfair trade practices, mainly involving allegations of infringement of U.S. patents and trademarks by imported goods. If it finds a violation of the law, the USITC may order the exclusion of the imported product from the United States. The USITC is responsible for continually reviewing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), a list of all the specific items that are imported into and exported from the United States, and for recommending modifications to the HTS that it considers necessary or appropriate. ABOUT THE COMMISSIONERS AND THE USITC STAFF: The USITC is headed by six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. No more than three Commissioners may be of any one political party. Currently three Democrats and three Republicans serve as Commissioners. The current Commissioners of the USITC are: Lynn M. Bragg (Chairman) Marcia E. Miller (Vice Chairman) Carol T. Crawford Jennifer A. Hillman Stephen Koplan Thelma J. Askey The Commissioners serve overlapping terms of nine years each, with a new term beginning every 18 months. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are designated by the President from among the current Commissioners for two-year terms. The Chairman and Vice Chairman must be from different political parties, and the Chairman cannot be from the same political party as the preceding Chairman. The ITC staff of about 365 individuals includes international trade analysts (experts in particular industries), international economists, attorneys, and technical support personnel. USITC SERVICES Public Information: The Office of External Relations is the USITC's primary liaison with the public, the news media, Congress and executive branch agencies, State and local agencies, as well as foreign governments and international organizations. The agency's Trade Remedy Assistance Office is also a component of the Office of External Relations. External Relations issues all USITC news releases, responds to inquiries, produces the agency's annual report, and offers a variety of brochures, pamphlets, and other materials to enhance public understanding of the ITC, its mission, and its role in U.S. international trade matters. The Trade Remedy Assistance Office assists the public and small businesses seeking benefits or relief under U.S. trade laws. The office offers general information concerning remedies and benefits available under the trade laws of the United States, and it provides technical and legal assistance and advice to small businesses seeking those remedies and benefits. The National Library of International Trade and ITC Law Library: The USITC maintains one of the most extensive libraries specializing in international trade in the United States. The National Library of International Trade houses over 100,000 volumes and approximately 2,000 periodical titles related to U.S. industry and international trade laws and practices as well as several CD-ROM and on-line information data bases. The library is located on the third floor of the USITC Building. It is open during agency hours. The ITC Law Library is located on the sixth floor of the USITC Building. It is open to the public during agency hours. The Inspector General conducts audits and investigations of USITC programs and operations in order to: 1) promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of programs; and 2) prevent and detect fraud and abuse in USITC programs and operations. Publications: Recent USITC publications and texts of Commissioner opinions in selected antidumping and countervailing duty investigations are available on this server in the reports and publications area.