17 March 2017
New AD/CV Probes of Aluminium Foil
The USITC has initiated the preliminary phase of AD and CV injury investigations of aluminium foil from mainland China. Aluminium foil is made from an aluminium alloy that contains between 92 and 99 percent aluminium. Usually between 0.00017 and 0.00787 inches thick, aluminium foil is produced in many widths and strengths for multiple applications. Aluminium foil provides a complete barrier to light, oxygen, moisture and bacteria and for this reason is used extensively in food and pharmaceutical packaging. Aluminium foil is also used to manufacture thermal insulation for the construction industry, fin stock for air conditioners, electrical coils for transformers, capacitors for radios and televisions, and insulation for storage tanks.
The product covered by this investigation is aluminium foil having a thickness of 0.2 mm (0.00787 inches) or less, in reels exceeding 25 pounds, that is not backed, etched for use in capacitors or cut to shape. Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above. Subject goods are currently classifiable under HTSUS subheadings 7607.11.3000, 7607.11.6000, 7607.11.9030, 7607.11.9060, 7607.11.9090 and 7607.19.6000.
Steel Sheet and Strip Will Face AD/CV Duties
The USITC has issued a final affirmative injury determination in its AD and CV investigations of stainless steel sheet and strip from mainland China. As a result, the DOC will issue AD and CV duty orders on imports of subject merchandise. Such imports will not be subject to retroactive AD/CV duties in light of the USITC’s negative finding of critical circumstances.
Cut-to-Length Steel Plate Will Face AD/CV Duties
The USITC has issued a final affirmative injury determination in its AD and CV investigations of carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate from mainland China. As a result, the DOC will issue AD and CV duty orders on imports of subject merchandise.
AD/CV Duty Orders on Aluminium Extrusions Renewed
The USITC has issued a final affirmative injury determination in its sunset review of the AD and CV duty orders on aluminium extrusions from mainland China. As a result, these orders will be extended for another five years.
Initiation of Sunset Review of AD Duty Order on Silicon Metal
The USITC has initiated a sunset review of the AD duty order on silicon metal from mainland China. The review will seek to determine whether revocation of this order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to a domestic industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. Interested parties must respond to the applicable notice of initiation by 31 March to be assured of consideration. Comments on the adequacy of these responses must be filed by 15 May. The USITC will then assess the adequacy of interested party responses to determine whether to conduct a full or expedited sunset review. As opposed to expedited reviews, full reviews include a public hearing and the issuance of questionnaires.
Scheduling of Full Sunset Review of AD Duty Order on Pencils
The USITC has scheduled the full sunset review of the AD duty order on cased pencils from mainland China. The pre-hearing staff report will be placed in the non-public record on 30 May and a public version will be issued thereafter; requests to appear at the hearing are due by 7 June; pre-hearing briefs are due by 8 June; the pre-hearing conference will be held on 9 June; the hearing will be held on 15 June; and post-hearing briefs are due by 26 June.
Scheduling of Full Sunset Review of AD Duty Order on Paper Clips
The USITC has scheduled the full sunset review of the AD duty order on paper clips from mainland China. The pre-hearing staff report will be placed in the non-public record on 2 June and a public version will be issued thereafter; requests to appear at the hearing and pre-hearing briefs are due by 13 June; the pre-hearing conference will be held on 16 June; the hearing will be held on 22 June; and post-hearing briefs are due by 3 July.
New Section 337 Investigation on Digital TV Set-Top Boxes
The USITC has instituted an investigation to determine whether imports of certain digital television set-top boxes, remote control devices and components thereof from mainland China are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue in the investigation include set-top boxes and voice-enabled remote control devices used to make watching and using TV systems, including interactive TV systems, easier and more efficient. The complainants request that after this investigation the USITC issue a limited exclusion order as well as cease and desist orders.
New Section 337 Investigation on Electrical Connectors
The USITC has instituted an investigation to determine whether imports of certain electrical connectors, components thereof and products containing the same from mainland China and various other sources are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue in the investigation include body control modules, body control module connectors and products containing the same. The complainant requests that after this investigation the USITC issue a limited exclusion order as well as cease and desist orders.
Antitrust Issues in Section 337 Probe of Steel Products under Review
The USITC is seeking further written submissions from the public through 27 March and has rescheduled the date for an oral argument to 20 April in connection with its review of the presiding administrative law judge’s initial determination terminating complainant U.S. Steel Corporation’s antitrust claim in the on-going Section 337 probe of carbon and alloy steel products from mainland China. The USITC launched this investigation to determine whether subject imports are violating Section 337 through (i) a conspiracy to fix prices and control output and export volumes, (ii) the misappropriation and use of trade secrets owned by U.S. Steel, and (iii) the false designation of origin or manufacturer to circumvent tariffs. The complainant has requested that after this investigation the USITC issue exclusion orders, which would prohibit infringing steel products from entering the United States, and cease and desist orders, which among other things would prevent the sale of infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. The notice of investigation identified 40 respondents that are mainland Chinese steel manufacturers or distributors, as well as some of their Hong Kong and U.S. affiliates.
The USITC is requesting information from the public on several issues, including (i) the policies that underlie the applicable injury requirements, (ii) what U.S. Steel must prove to satisfy that injury requirement where the alleged violation is based on a claim of conspiracy to fix prices, (iii) how antitrust injury standing compares to or differs from the Section 337 injury requirement, and (iv) whether antitrust injury standing should be required for establishing a violation based on a claim of conspiracy to fix prices. U.S. Steel recently withdrew its trade secrets theft claim but said it would proceed with the other two claims even though the USITC has moved to dismiss them.
Section 337 Investigation of Integrated Circuits with Voltage Regulators Amended
The USITC on 12 October 2016 instituted a Section 337 investigation of certain integrated circuits with voltage regulators and products containing the same from various sources, including mainland China. The complainant subsequently requested that the administrative law judge in charge amend the investigation to add certain claims to the complaint. The ALJ has granted the request and the USITC has decided not to review this decision.