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USITC Notices

Preliminary Affirmative Injury Determinations in Safeguard Probes of Photovoltaic Cells and Residential Washers
The USITC has issued separate preliminary injury determinations in its safeguard investigations of (i) crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, from all sources; and (ii) large residential washers from all sources. As a result, the USITC has proceeded to the remedy phase of these investigations.  

The USITC held a public hearing in connection with the photovoltaic cell proceeding on 3 October and will hold a hearing in connection with the washer proceeding on 19 October. The Commission will submit its report containing the relevant injury determination, remedy recommendations, certain additional findings and the bases for those findings to the president by 13 November in the photovoltaic cell probe and by 4 December in the washer proceeding.

The USITC also found that imports of subject photovoltaic cells from Mexico account for a substantial share of total imports and contribute importantly to the serious injury caused by such imports. Two of the commissioners issued a negative finding with respect to Canada, but one commissioner issued a positive finding. With respect to South Korea, all three commissioners found that imports of subject photovoltaic cells from that country are a substantial cause of serious injury or threat thereof. With respect to other U.S. free trade agreement partners, however, the USITC found that Australia, the CAFTA-DR countries, Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Peru and Singapore individually are not a substantial cause of serious injury or threat thereof.

New AD/CV Probes of PTFE Resin
The USITC has initiated the preliminary phase of AD and CV injury investigations of polytetrafouroethylene (PTFE) resin classified under HTSUS 3904.61.0010, 3904.61.0090 and 3904.69 from mainland China. The proceedings include PTFE resin in granular, dispersion and coagulated dispersion forms, whether filled or unfilled, whether or not modified, and whether or not containing co-polymer additives, pigments or other materials. Also included is PTFE wet raw polymer. Product uses include gaskets, seals and rings, film, insulation, wiring coating, pipe liners, pipe coating and coatings for woven goods. PTFE further processed into micro-powder, having particle size ranging from one to 25 microns, is excluded from the scope of these investigations.

Return questionnaires are due to the USITC by 12 October, a conference will be held on 19 October, post-conference briefs may be submitted by 24 October, and the USITC’s preliminary determination vote has been scheduled for 13 November.

New AD/CV Probes of Forged Steel Fittings
The USITC has initiated the preliminary phase of AD and CV injury investigations of forged steel fittings classified under HTSUS 7307.99.1000, 7307.99.3000, 7307.99.5045, 7307.99.5060, 7307.92.3010, 7307.92.3030, 7307.92.9000 and 7326.19.0010 from mainland China. The merchandise covered by these investigations is carbon and alloy forged steel fittings, whether unfinished (commonly known as blanks or rough forgings) or finished. Such fittings are made in a variety of shapes, including elbows, tees, crosses, laterals, couplings, reducers, caps, plugs, bushings and unions. Forged steel fittings are covered regardless of end finish, whether threaded, socket-weld or other end connections. While these fittings are generally manufactured to specifications ASME B16.11, MSS SP-79 and MSS SP-83, ASTM A105, ASTM A350 and ASTM A182, the scope is not limited to fittings made to these specifications.

The term “forged” is an industry term used to describe a class of products included in applicable standards and does not reference an exclusive manufacturing process. Forged steel fittings are not manufactured from casting. Pursuant to the applicable standards, fittings may also be machined from bar stock or machined from seamless pipe and tube. All types of fittings are included in the scope regardless of nominal pipe size (which may or may not be expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure rating (usually but not necessarily expressed in pounds of pressure, such as 2,000 or 2M, 3,000 or 3M, 6,000 or 6M, and 9,000 or 9M), wall thickness, and whether or not heat treated. Excluded from the scope are all fittings entirely made of stainless steel, as well as flanges and butt weld fittings.

Return questionnaires are due to the USITC by 19 October, a conference will be held on 26 October, post-conference briefs may be submitted by 31 October, and the USITC’s preliminary determination vote has been scheduled for 17 November.

Preliminary Affirmative AD/CV Injury Determinations on Steel Flanges
The USITC has issued preliminary affirmative injury determinations in its AD and CV investigations of stainless steel flanges classified under HTSUS 7307.21.1000 and 7307.21.5000 from mainland China. As a result, the DOC will continue its AD and CV duty investigations of imports of subject merchandise. The DOC is scheduled to issue its preliminary CV determination on or about 9 November 2017 and its preliminary AD determination on or about 23 January 2018.

AD Duty Order on Garlic Renewed
The USITC has issued a final affirmative injury determination in its sunset review of the AD duty order on fresh garlic from mainland China. As a result, this order will be extended for another five years.

Scheduling of Final Phase of AD/CV Injury Investigations of Tool Chests
The USITC has scheduled the final phase of its AD and CV injury investigations of tool chests from mainland China. The pre-hearing staff report will be placed in the non-public record on 14 November and a public version will be issued thereafter; pre-hearing briefs are due by 21 November; requests to appear at the hearing are due by 22 November; the pre-hearing conference will be held on 27 November; the hearing will be held on 28 November; and post-hearing briefs are due by 2 November.

Scheduling of Final Phase of AD/CV Injury Investigations of Mechanical Tubing
The USITC has scheduled the final phase of its AD and CV injury investigations of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from mainland China. The pre-hearing staff report will be placed in the non-public record on 21 November and a public version will be issued thereafter; pre-hearing briefs are due by 29 November; requests to appear at the hearing are due by 1 December; the pre-hearing conference will be held on 4 December; the hearing will be held on 6 December; and post-hearing briefs are due by 12 December.

Initiation of Sunset Review of AD Duty Order on Silicomanganese
The USITC has initiated a sunset review of the AD duty order on silicomanganese 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 1 November to be assured of consideration. Comments on the adequacy of these responses must be filed by 7 December. 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.

Sunset Reviews of AD Duty Orders on Roller Bearings and Paper School Supplies. The USITC has decided to conduct a full sunset review of the AD duty order on tapered roller bearings as well as an expedited sunset review of the AD duty order on lined paper school supplies from mainland China. The reviews will seek to determine whether revocation of these orders would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to a domestic industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. As opposed to expedited reviews, full reviews include a public hearing and the issuance of questionnaires.

New Section 337 Investigation on Wi-Fi Enabled Devices
The USITC has instituted an investigation to determine whether imports of certain wi-fi enabled electronic devices and components thereof from Hong Kong and mainland China are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue in the investigation are wi-fi enabled televisions, also known as smart TVs. The complainants request that after this investigation the USITC issue a limited exclusion order as well as cease and desist orders.

Remedies in Section 337 Probe of Liquid Crystal Ewriters
The USITC has issued a limited exclusion order as well as cease and desist orders in its Section 337 investigation of certain liquid crystal Ewriters and components thereof from mainland China. The limited exclusion order prohibits the unlicensed entry of subject merchandise covered by certain patents that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, the sole mainland Chinese respondent. The USITC has set a bond in the amount of 100 percent of the entered value of the subject merchandise for importations during the 60-day presidential review period.

Section 337 Investigation of Basketball Backboard Components Terminated
The USITC instituted on 7 February a Section 337 investigation of certain basketball backboard components and products containing the same from mainland China. On 24 August, the complainant and the respondents filed a joint motion to terminate this investigation based on a settlement agreement. The administrative law judge assigned to this case subsequently granted the motion and the USITC has decided not to review this decision.

Section 337 Investigation of Desk Platforms Terminated
The USITC instituted on 4 May a Section 337 investigation of certain height-adjustable desk platforms and components thereof from mainland China.  On 29 August, the complainant and the respondents filed a joint motion to terminate this investigation based on a settlement agreement. The ALJ assigned to this case subsequently granted the motion and the USITC has decided not to review this decision.

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