ABBREVIATIONS–TRADE AGENCIES AND COURTS

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ABBREVIATIONS

Commerce—US Commerce Department—The Commerce Department in Washington DC is part of the Administration and one of the Cabinet Departments. 

Under the US antidumping and countervailing duty law, to win the case, the US industry or labor union must show dumping and/or subsidization at Commerce and injury or threat of material injury to a US industry at the ITC.

ITC—US International Trade Commission in Washington DC is an independent government agency made of six Commissioners, no more than 3 Commissioners from any political party.  The ITC is the agency closest to the US Congress because under the US Constitution Congress controls trade, not the President.  Thus, in any trade negotiations the US Congress must delegate the trade negotiating authority to the Administration.

The ITC’s expertise is the US market and the US industry.  It makes the injury determinations in US antidumping and countervailing duty cases.  It also makes the injury determinations in “Safeguards” cases, Section 201 Escape Clause and Section 421 cases, special safeguard cases against China.  In a Section 201, Safeguards case, if the ITC finds that increased imports are a substantial cause of serious injury to the US industry, the President is empowered to impose import relief in the form of quotas or increased tariffs.

The ITC also makes decisions in Section 337, Intellectual Property, cases.  If the ITC finds that imports are infringing a US patent, trademark, or copyright, it can issue an exclusion order and Customs will keep the infringing imports out at the border.  The ITC can also issue cease and desist orders to prohibit importers from selling infringing imports into the US market.

CIT—Court of International Trade.  The CIT in New York City is the formerCustoms Courtand hears appeals in antidumping, countervailing duty and other trade and customs cases.

CAFC—Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The CAFC in Washington DC hears appeals in antidumping and other trade and Customs cases from the CIT.  The CAFC also hears appeals directly from the ITC in Section 337 cases.

From the CAFC, cases can be appealed in very rare situations to the US Supreme Court.

USTR—The United States Trade Representative in Washington DC is in the Executive Office of the President.  USTR’s job is to take the lead in trade negotiations with other countries and at the World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO—World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland is the international body that regulates trade and adjudicates trade disputes between different countries.

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