United States International Trade Commission

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United States International Trade Commission

Summary of United States International Trade Commission

An independent agency within the Federal government charged with the ongoing investigation of the levels of U.S. import activity. It was established as the United States Tariff Commission in 1916; the current name was adopted in 1974. The commission inquires into the impact of laws and regulations of the United States and other countries, examines foreign competition with U.S. industries, and compares importations with American manufacture and consumption of like items. It investigates injury to domestic industries caused by import competition; when a finding of domestic injury is made, the president may impose quantitative import restrictions, orderly marketing arrangements, or like constraints on offending imports.

The commission advises the president on the likely economic effects upon U.S. industry and consumers of any proposals to change tariffs or embark upon new trade agreements, and on the removal of duties under the Generalized System Of Preferences (read this and related legal terms for further details) accorded to developing countries. It also monitors trade with communist countries.

The commission investigates, under the Tariff Act of 1930, dumping and the resulting injury to U.S. producers, and unfair trade practices. As directed by the president, it also investigates interference with U.S. agricultural programs by imported products. It cooperates with the Departments of the

Treasury and Commerce in compiling a uniform system for the capture of data relative to foreign trade, and publishes annually the Tariff Schedules of the United States, Annoted.

The commission consists of a chairman, vice- chairman, and four commissioners appointed by the president. Commissioners are appointed for nine years and may not be reappointed; the chairman and vice-chairman are designated for two-year terms.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

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