19 U.S.C. § 2252 - Investigations, determinations, and recommendations by Commission

Cite as:19 U.S.C. § 2252
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)
 
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(a) Petitions and adjustment plans

(1) A petition requesting action under this part for the purpose of facilitating positive adjustment to import competition may be filed with the Commission by an entity, including a trade association, firm, certified or recognized union, or group of workers, which is representative of an industry.

(2) A petition under paragraph (1)-

(A) shall include a statement describing the specific purposes for which action is being sought, which may include facilitating the orderly transfer of resources to more productive pursuits, enhancing competitiveness, or other means of adjustment to new conditions of competition; and

(B) may-

(i) subject to subsection (d)(1)(C)(i), request provisional relief under subsection (d)(1); or

(ii) request provisional relief under subsection (d)(2).

(3) Whenever a petition is filed under paragraph (1), the Commission shall promptly transmit copies of the petition to the Office of the United States Trade Representative and other Federal agencies directly concerned.

(4) A petitioner under paragraph (1) may submit to the Commission and the United States Trade Representative (hereafter in this part referred to as the "Trade Representative"), either with the petition, or at any time within 120 days after the date of filing of the petition, a plan to facilitate positive adjustment to import competition.

(5)

(A) Before submitting an adjustment plan under paragraph (4), the petitioner and other entities referred to in paragraph (1) that wish to participate may consult with the Trade Representative and the officers and employees of any Federal agency that is considered appropriate by the Trade Representative, for purposes of evaluating the adequacy of the proposals being considered for inclusion in the plan in relation to specific actions that may be taken under this part.

(B) A request for any consultation under subparagraph (A) must be made to the Trade Representative. Upon receiving such a request, the Trade Representative shall confer with the petitioner and provide such assistance, including publication of appropriate notice in the Federal Register, as may be practicable in obtaining other participants in the consultation. No consultation may occur under subparagraph (A) unless the Trade Representative, or his delegate, is in attendance.

(6)

(A) In the course of any investigation under subsection (b) of this section, the Commission shall seek information (on a confidential basis, to the extent appropriate) on actions being taken, or planned to be taken, or both, by firms and workers in the industry to make a positive adjustment to import competition.

(B) Regardless whether an adjustment plan is submitted under paragraph (4) by the petitioner, if the Commission makes an affirmative determination under subsection (b), any-

(i) firm in the domestic industry;

(ii) certified or recognized union or group of workers in the domestic industry;

(iii) State or local community;

(iv) trade association representing the domestic industry; or

(v) any other person or group of persons,

may, individually, submit to the Commission commitments regarding actions such persons and entities intend to take to facilitate positive adjustment to import competition.

(7) Nothing in paragraphs (5) and (6) may be construed to provide immunity under the antitrust laws.

(8) The procedures concerning the release of confidential business information set forth in section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 [ 19 U.S.C. 1332(g) ] shall apply with respect to information received by the Commission in the course of investigations conducted under this part, part 1 of title III of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title II of the United States-Jordan Free Trade Area Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act [ 19 U.S.C. 4051 et seq.], title III of the United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, title III of the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act,,1 title III of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, and subtitle C of title III of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act [ 19 U.S.C. 4571 et seq.]. The Commission may request that parties providing confidential business information furnish nonconfidential summaries thereof or, if such parties indicate that the information in the submission cannot be summarized, the reasons why a summary cannot be provided. If the Commission finds that a request for confidentiality is not warranted and if the party concerned is either unwilling to make the information public or to authorize its disclosure in generalized or summarized form, the Commission may disregard the submission.

(b) Investigations and determinations by Commission

(1)

(A) Upon the filing of a petition under subsection (a), the request of the President or the Trade Representative, the resolution of either the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or on its own motion, the Commission shall promptly make an investigation to determine whether an article is being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or the threat thereof, to the domestic industry producing an article like or directly competitive with the imported article.

(B) For purposes of this section, the term "substantial cause" means a cause which is important and not less than any other cause.

(2)

(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Commission shall make the determination under paragraph (1) within 120 days (180 days if the petition alleges that critical circumstances exist) after the date on which the petition is filed, the request or resolution is received, or the motion is adopted, as the case may be.

(B) If before the 100th day after a petition is filed under subsection (a)(1) the Commission determines that the investigation is extraordinarily complicated, the Commission shall make the determination under paragraph (1) within 150 days (210 days if the petition alleges that critical circumstances exist) after the date referred to in subparagraph (A).

(3) The Commission shall publish notice of the commencement of any proceeding under this subsection in the Federal Register and shall, within a reasonable time thereafter, hold public hearings at which the Commission shall afford interested parties and consumers an opportunity to be present, to present evidence, to comment on the adjustment plan, if any, submitted under subsection (a), to respond to the presentations of other parties and consumers, and otherwise to be heard.

(c) Factors applied in making determinations

(1) In making determinations under subsection (b), the Commission shall take into account all economic factors which it considers relevant, including (but not limited to)-

(A) with respect to serious injury-

(i) the significant idling of productive facilities in the domestic industry,

(ii) the inability of a significant number of firms to carry out domestic production operations at a reasonable level of profit, and

(iii) significant unemployment or underemployment within the domestic industry;

(B) with respect to threat of serious injury-

(i) a decline in sales or market share, a higher and growing inventory (whether maintained by domestic producers, importers, wholesalers, or retailers), and a downward trend in production, profits, wages, productivity, or employment (or increasing underemployment) in the domestic industry,

(ii) the extent to which firms in the domestic industry are unable to generate adequate capital to finance the modernization of their domestic plants and equipment, or are unable to maintain existing levels of expenditures for research and development,

(iii) the extent to which the United States market is the focal point for the diversion of exports of the article concerned by reason of restraints on exports of such article to, or on imports of such article into, third country markets; and

(C) with respect to substantial cause, an increase in imports (either actual or relative to domestic production) and a decline in the proportion of the domestic market supplied by domestic producers.

(2) In making determinations under subsection (b), the Commission shall-

(A) consider the condition of the domestic industry over the course of the relevant business cycle, but may not aggregate the causes of declining demand associated with a recession or economic downturn in the United States economy into a single cause of serious injury or threat of injury; and

(B) examine factors other than imports which may be a cause of serious injury, or threat of serious injury, to the domestic industry.

The Commission shall include the results of its examination under subparagraph (B) in the report submitted by the Commission to the President under subsection (e).

(3) The presence or absence of any factor which the Commission is required to evaluate in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) is not necessarily dispositive of whether an article is being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or the threat thereof, to the domestic industry.

(4) For purposes of subsection (b), in determining the domestic industry producing an article like or directly competitive with an imported article, the Commission-

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