United States International Trade Commission

United States International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is an independent, non-partisan, quasi-judicial, federal agency of the United States that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches. Further, the agency determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as dumping, patent, trademark, and copyright infringement.


The USITC was established by the U.S. 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 is gathered and analyzed. This data is provided to the President and Congress as part of the information on which U.S. international trade policy is based.


In its own words, the mission of the Commission is to:

# Administer U.S. trade remedy laws within its mandate in a fair and objective manner;
# Provide the President, USTR, and Congress with independent, quality analysis, information, and support on matters of tariffs and international trade and competitiveness; and
# Maintain the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

In so doing, the Commission serves the public by implementing U.S. law and contributing to the development and implementation of sound and informed U.S. trade policy.

The ITC's five operations include:

# Import Injury Investigations
# Intellectual Property-Based Import Investigations
# Research Program
# Trade Information Services
# Trade Policy Support


The USITC is headed by six Commissioners. Each Commissioner is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The formal commission is signed by the President and the Secretary of State. No more than three Commissioners may be of any one political party. Commissioners serve overlapping nine year terms with a new term beginning every 18 months. The current Commissioners are (in order of precedence):
* Daniel R. Pearson (Chairman) (R-MN)
* Shara L. Aranoff (Vice Chairman) (D-MD)
* Deanna Tanner Okun (R-ID)
* Charlotte R. Lane (R-WV)
* Irving A. Williamson (D-NY)
* Dean A. Pinkert (D-VA)

Nominated by President George W. Bush September 7, 2006, Commissioners Pinkert and Williamson replaced Jennifer A. Hillman (D-IN) and Stephen Koplan (D-VA) after Senate confirmation February 1, 2007.

ITC hearings

Although the USITC is not a court, its administrative law judges conduct trial-type official administrative hearings. If a Section 337 of the Smoot-Hawley Act complaint has at least three votes from its six Commissioners, an official investigative hearing will be assigned to an administrative law judge.

ee also

* Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
* Doha Round
* Generalized System of Preferences
* International Trade Administration
* Office of the United States Trade Representative
* United States Commercial Service
* World Trade Organization

External links

* [http://www.usitc.gov/ USITC website]

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