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U.S. International Trade Commission
This law is codified in Chapter 4 of Title 19 of the U.S. Code, with the rest of the Tariff Act of 1930. Note however that most of the provisions identified with that act had predecessors in earlier statutes, nearly all have been significantly modified by numerous laws enacted since 1930, and several were not enacted until well after 1930. These specific provisions were last amended in 2004.

 

 


See the provisions on the USITC in the Trade Act of 1974, as well as the CENTRAL guide to Trade Laws of the United States.  

 

Other topics covered by the Tariff Act of 1930 include: 

Note that this is not an exhaustive listing. Some items in the Tariff Act of 1930 are not included here due to their obscurity or declining relevance.

 

 

 

 


Part II—United States International Trade Commission
§1330. Organization of Commission

(a) Membership

The United States International Trade Commission (referred to in this subtitle as the “Commission”) shall be composed of six commissioners who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. No person shall be eligible for appointment as a commissioner unless he is a citizen of the United States, and, in the judgment of the President, is possessed of qualifications requisite for developing expert knowledge of international trade problems and efficiency in administering the duties and functions of the Commission. A person who has served as a commissioner for more than 5 years (excluding service as a commissioner before January 3, 1975) shall not be eligible for reappointment as a commissioner. Not more than three of the commissioners shall be members of the same political party, and in making appointments members of different political parties shall be appointed alternately as nearly as may be practicable.

(b) Terms of office

The terms of office of the commissioners holding office on January 3, 1975, which (but for this sentence) would expire on June 16, 1975, June 16, 1976, June 16, 1977, June 16, 1978, June 16, 1979, and June 16, 1980, shall expire on December 16, 1976, June 16, 1978, December 16, 1979, June 16, 1981, December 16, 1982, and June 16, 1984, respectively. The term of office of each commissioner appointed after such date shall expire 9 years from the date of the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed, except that—

(1) any commissioner appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term, and

(2) any commissioner may continue to serve as a commissioner after an expiration of his term of office until his successor is appointed and qualified.

(c) Chairman and vice chairman; quorum

(1) The chairman and the vice chairman of the Commission shall be designated by the President from among the members of the Commission not ineligible, under paragraph (3), for designation. The President shall notify the Congress of his designations under this paragraph. If, as of the date on which a term begins under paragraph (2), the President has not designated the chairman of the Commission for such term, the Commissioner 1 who, as of such date—

(A) is a member of a different political party than the chairman of the Commission for the immediately preceding term, and

(B) has the longest period of continuous service as a commissioner,

shall serve as chairman of the Commission for the portion of such term preceding the date on which an individual designated by the President takes office as chairman.

(2) After June 16, 1978, the terms of office for the chairman and vice chairman of the Commission shall be as follows:

(A) The first term of office occurring after such date shall begin on June 17, 1978, and end at the close of June 16, 1980.

(B) Each term of office thereafter shall begin on the day after the closing date of the immediately preceding term of office and end at the close of the 2-year period beginning on such day.

(3)(A) The President may not designate as the chairman of the Commission for any term any commissioner who is a member of the political party of which the chairman of the Commission for the immediately preceding term is a member, or who has less than 1 year of continuous service as a commissioner as of the date such designation is being made.

(B) The President may not designate as the vice chairman of the Commission for any term any commissioner who is a member of the political party of which the chairman for that term is a member.

(C) If any commissioner does not complete a term as chairman or vice chairman by reason of death, resignation, removal from office as a commissioner, or expiration of his term of office as a commissioner, the President shall designate as the chairman or vice chairman, as the case may be, for the remainder of such term a commissioner who is a member of the same political party. Designation of a chairman under this subparagraph may be made without regard to the 1-year continuous service requirement under subparagraph (A).

(4) The vice chairman shall act as chairman in case of the absence or disability of the chairman. During any period in which there is no chairman or vice chairman, the commissioner having the longest period of continuous service as a commissioner shall act as chairman.

(5) No commissioner shall actively engage in any business, vocation, or employment other than that of serving as a commissioner.

(6) A majority of the commissioners in office shall constitute a quorum, but the Commission may function notwithstanding vacancies.

(d) Effect of divided vote in certain cases

(1) In a proceeding in which the Commission is required to determine—

(A) under section 2252 of this title, whether increased imports of an article are a substantial cause of serious injury, or the threat thereof, as described in subsection (b)(1) of that section (hereafter in this subsection referred to as “serious injury”), or

(B) under section 2436 of this title, whether market disruption exists.

and the commissioners voting are equally divided with respect to such determination, then the determination, agreed upon by either group of commissioners may be considered by the President as the determination of the Commission.

(2) If under section 2252(b) or 2436 of this title there is an affirmative determination of the Commission, or a determination of the Commission which the President may consider an affirmative determination under paragraph (1), that serious injury or market disruption exists, respectively, and a majority of the commissioners voting are unable to agree on a finding or recommendation described in section 2252(e)(1) of this title or the finding described in section 2436(a)(3) of this title, as the case may be (hereafter in this subsection referred to as a “remedy finding”), then—

(A) if a plurality of not less than three commissioners so voting agree on a remedy finding, such remedy finding shall, for purposes of section 2253 of this title, be treated as the remedy finding of the Commission, or

(B) if two groups, both of which include not less than 3 commissioners, each agree upon a remedy finding and the President reports under section 2254(a) of this title that—

(i) he is taking the action agreed upon by one such group, then the remedy finding agreed upon by the other group shall, for purposes of section 2253 of this title, be treated as the remedy finding of the Commission, or

(ii) he is taking action which differs from the action agreed upon by both such groups, or that he will not take any action, then the remedy finding agreed upon by either such group may be considered by the Congress as the remedy finding of the Commission and shall, for purposes of section 2253 of this title, be treated as the remedy finding of the Commission.

(3) In any proceeding to which paragraph (1) applies in which the commissioners voting are equally divided on a determination that serious injury exists, or that market disruption exists, the Commission shall report to the President the determination of each group of commissioners. In any proceeding to which paragraph (2) applies, the Commission shall report to the President the remedy finding of each group of commissioners voting.

(4) In a case to which paragraph (2)(B)(ii) applies, for purposes of section 2253(a) of this title, notwithstanding section 2192(a)(1)(A) of this title, the second blank space in the joint resolution described in such section 2192(a)(1)(A) of this title shall be filled with the appropriate date and the following: “The action which shall take effect under section 203(a) of the Trade Act of 1974 is the finding or recommendation agreed upon by Commissioners ______________, ______________, and ____________.” The three blank spaces shall be filled with the names of the appropriate Commissioners.

(5) Whenever, in any case in which the Commission is authorized to make an investigation upon its own motion, upon complaint, or upon application of any interested party, one-half of the number of commissioners voting agree that the investigation should be made, such investigation shall thereupon be carried out in accordance with the statutory authority covering the matter in question. Whenever the Commission is authorized to hold hearings in the course of any investigation and one-half of the number of commissioners voting agree that hearings should be held, such hearings shall thereupon be held in accordance with the statutory authority covering the matter in question.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

(1) For the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1976, and each fiscal year thereafter, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission only such sums as may hereafter be provided by law.

(2)(A) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for necessary expenses (including the rental of conference rooms in the District of Columbia and elsewhere) not to exceed the following:

(i) $54,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.

(ii) $57,240,000 for fiscal year 2004.

(B) Not to exceed $2,500 of the amount authorized to be appropriated for any fiscal year under subparagraph (A) may be used, subject to the approval of the Chairman of the Commission, for reception and entertainment expenses.

(C) No part of any sum that is appropriated under the authority of subparagraph (A) may be used by the Commission in the making of any special study, investigation, or report that is requested by any agency of the executive branch unless that agency reimburses the Commission for the cost thereof.

(3) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for each fiscal year after September 30, 1977, in addition to any other amount authorized to be appropriated for such fiscal year, such sums as may be necessary for increases authorized by law in salary, pay, retirement, and other employee benefits.

(4) By not later than the date on which the President submits to Congress the budget of the United States Government for a fiscal year, the Commission shall submit to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate the projected amount of funds for the succeeding fiscal year that will be necessary for the Commission to carry out its functions.

(f) Treatment of Commission under Paperwork Reduction Act

The Commission shall be considered to be an independent regulatory agency for purposes of chapter 35 of title 44.

§1331. General powers

(a) Administration

(1)(A) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the chairman of the Commission shall—

(i) appoint and fix the compensation of such employees of the Commission as he deems necessary (other than the personal staff of each commissioner), including the secretary,

(ii) procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with the provisions of section 3109 of title 5, and

(iii) exercise and be responsible for all other administrative functions of the Commission.

(B) The chairman of the Commission may accept, hold, administer, and utilize gifts, devises, and bequests of property, both real and personal, for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Commission.

(C) Any decision by the chairman under subparagraph (A) or (B) shall be subject to disapproval by a majority vote of all the commissioners in office.

(2) Subject to approval by a majority vote of all the commissioners in office, the chairman may—

(A) terminate the employment of any supervisory employee of the Commission whose duties involve substantial personal responsibility for Commission matters and who is compensated at a rate equal to, or in excess of, the rate for grade GS–15 of the General Schedule in section 5332 of title 5, and

(B) formulate the annual budget of the Commission.

(3) No member of the Commission, in making public statements with respect to any policy matter for which the Commission has responsibility, shall represent himself as speaking for the Commission, or his views as being the views of the Commission, with respect to such matter except to the extent that the Commission has adopted the policy being expressed.

(b) Application of civil service law

Except for employees excepted under civil service rules, all employees of the commission shall be appointed from lists of eligibles to be supplied by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and in accordance with the civil service law.

(c) Expenses

All of the expenses of the commission, including all necessary expenses for transportation incurred by the commissioners or by their employees under their orders in making any investigation or upon official business in any other places than at their respective headquarters, shall be allowed and paid on the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the chairman (except that in the case of a commissioner, or the personal staff of any commissioner, such vouchers may be approved by that commissioner).

(d) Principal office at Washington

The principal office of the commission shall be in the city of Washington, but it may meet and exercise all its powers at any other place. The commission may, by one or more of its members, or by such agents as it may designate, prosecute any inquiry necessary to its duties in any part of the United States or in any foreign country.

(e) Office at New York

The commission is authorized to establish and maintain an office at the port of New York for the purpose of directing or carrying on any investigation, receiving and compiling statistics, selecting, describing, and filing samples of articles, and performing any of the duties or exercising any of the powers imposed upon it by law.

(f) Official seal

The commission is authorized to adopt an official seal, which shall be judicially noticed.

 

§1332. Investigations

(a) Investigations and reports

It shall be the duty of the commission to investigate the administration and fiscal and industrial effects of the customs laws of this country, the relations between the rates of duty on raw materials and finished or partly finished products, the effects of ad valorem and specific duties and of compound specific and ad valorem duties, all questions relative to the arrangement of schedules and classification of articles in the several schedules of the customs law, and, in general, to investigate the operation of customs laws, including their relation to the Federal revenues, their effect upon the industries and labor of the country, and to submit reports of its investigations as hereafter provided.

(b) Investigations of tariff relations

The commission shall have power to investigate the tariff relations between the United States and foreign countries, commercial treaties, preferential provisions, economic alliances, the effect of export bounties and preferential transportation rates, the volume of importations compared with domestic production and consumption, and conditions, causes, and effects relating to competition of foreign industries with those of the United States, including dumping and cost of production.

(c) Investigation of Paris Economy Pact

The commission shall have power to investigate the Paris Economy Pact and similar organizations and arrangements in Europe.

(d) Information for President and Congress

In order that the President and the Congress may secure information and assistance, it shall be the duty of the commission to—

(1) Ascertain conversion costs and costs of production in the principal growing, producing, or manufacturing centers of the United States of articles of the United States, whenever in the opinion of the commission it is practicable;

(2) Ascertain conversion costs and costs of production in the principal growing, producing, or manufacturing centers of foreign countries of articles imported into the United States, whenever in the opinion of the commission such conversion costs or costs of production are necessary for comparison with conversion costs or costs of production in the United States and can be reasonably ascertained;

(3) Select and describe articles which are representative of the classes or kinds of articles imported into the United States and which are similar to or comparable with articles of the United States; select and describe articles of the United States similar to or comparable with such imported articles; and obtain and file samples of articles so selected, whenever the commission deems it advisable;

(4) Ascertain import costs of such representative articles so selected;

(5) Ascertain the grower's, producer's, or manufacturer's selling prices in the principal growing, producing, or manufacturing centers of the United States of the articles of the United States so selected; and

(6) Ascertain all other facts which will show the differences in or which affect competition between articles of the United States and imported articles in the principal markets of the United States.

(e) Definitions

When used in this subdivision and in subdivision (d) of this section—

(1) The term “article” includes any commodity, whether grown, produced, fabricated, manipulated, or manufactured;

(2) The term “import cost” means the transaction value of the imported merchandise determined in accordance with section 1401a(b) of this title plus, when not included in the transaction value, all necessary expenses, exclusive of customs duties, of bringing such merchandise to the United States.

(f) Omitted

(g) Reports to President and Congress

The commission shall put at the disposal of the President of the United States, the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Finance of the Senate, whenever requested, all information at its command, and shall make such investigations and reports as may be requested by the President or by either of said committees or by either branch of the Congress. However, the Commission may not release information which the Commission considers to be confidential business information unless the party submitting the confidential business information had notice, at the time of submission, that such information would be released by the Commission, or such party subsequently consents to the release of the information. The Commission shall report to Congress on the first Monday of December of each year after June 17, 1930, a statement of the methods adopted and all expenses incurred, a summary of all reports made during the year, and a list of all votes taken by the commission during the year, showing those commissioners voting in the affirmative and the negative on each vote and those commissioners not voting on each vote and the reasons for not voting. Each such annual report shall include a list of all complaints filed under section 1337 of this title during the year for which such report is being made, the date on which each such complaint was filed, and the action taken thereon, and the status of all investigations conducted by the commission under such section during such year and the date on which each such investigation was commenced.

§1333. Testimony and production of papers

(a) Authority to obtain information

For the purposes of carrying out its functions and duties in connection with any investigation authorized by law, the commission or its duly authorized agent or agents (1) shall have access to and the right to copy any document, paper, or record, pertinent to the subject matter under investigation, in the possession of any person, firm, copartnership, corporation, or association engaged in the production, importation, or distribution of any article under investigation, (2) may summon witnesses, take testimony, and administer oaths, (3) may require any person, firm, copartnership, corporation, or association to produce books or papers relating to any matter pertaining to such investigation, and (4) may require any person, firm, copartnership, corporation, or association, to furnish in writing, in such detail and in such form as the commission may prescribe, information in their possession pertaining to such investigation. Any member of the commission may sign subpenas, and members and agents of the commission, when authorized by the commission, may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, take testimony, and receive evidence.

(b) Witnesses and evidence

Such attendance of witnesses and the production of such documentary evidence may be required from any place in the United States at any designated place of hearing. And in case of disobedience to a subpena the commission may invoke the aid of any district or territorial court of the United States in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence, and such court within the jurisdiction of which such inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpena issued to any corporation or other person, issue an order requiring such corporation or other person to appear before the commission, or to produce documentary evidence if so ordered or to give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof.

(c) Mandamus

At the request of the commission, any such court shall have jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus commanding compliance with the provisions of this part or any order of the commission made in pursuance thereof.

(d) Depositions

The commission may order testimony to be taken by deposition in any proceeding or investigation pending before the commission at any stage of such proceeding or investigation. Such depositions may be taken before any person designated by the commission and having power to administer oaths. Such testimony shall be reduced to writing by the person taking the deposition, or under his direction, and shall then be subscribed by the deponent. Any person, firm, copartnership, corporation, or association, may be compelled to appear and depose and to produce documentary evidence in the same manner as witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify and produce documentary evidence before the commission, as hereinbefore provided.

(e) Fees and mileage of witnesses

Witnesses summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same, except employees of the commission, shall severally be entitled to the same fees and mileage as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States.

(f) Statements under oath

The commission is authorized, in order to ascertain any facts required by subdivision (d) of section 1332 of this title to require any importer and any American grower, producer, manufacturer, or seller to file with the commission a statement, under oath, giving his selling prices in the United States of any article imported, grown, produced, fabricated, manipulated, or manufactured by him.

(g) Representation in court proceedings

The Commission shall be represented in all judicial proceedings by attorneys who are employees of the Commission or, at the request of the Commission, by the Attorney General of the United States.

(h) Administrative protective orders

Any correspondence, private letters of reprimand, and other documents and files relating to violations or possible violations of administrative protective orders issued by the Commission in connection with investigations or other proceedings under this subtitle shall be treated as information described in section 552(b)(3) of title 5.

 

§1334. Cooperation with other agencies

The commission shall in appropriate matters act in conjunction and cooperation with the Treasury Department, the Department of Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission, or any other departments, or independent establishments of the Government, and such departments and independent establishments of the Government shall cooperate fully with the commission for the purposes of aiding and assisting in its work, and, when directed by the President, shall furnish to the commission, on its request, all records, papers, and information in their possession relating to any of the subjects of investigation by the commission and shall detail, from time to time, such officials and employees to said commission as he may direct.

 

§1335. Rules and regulations

The commission is authorized to adopt such reasonable procedures and rules and regulations as it deems necessary to carry out its functions and duties.