Press Release

Department of Commerce Issues Proposed Rules to Strengthen Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws

For Immediate Release
August 13, 2020
Contact: ITA Office of Public Affairs 
Phone: 202-482-3809

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it has issued proposed modifications to the regulations governing antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) enforcement. If adopted, these regulations would make trade remedy proceedings more efficient and create new enforcement tools for Commerce to address circumvention and evasion.

“Since the beginning, President Trump and his administration have remained steadfast in defending the interests of American workers and the vigorous enforcement of our trade remedy laws, so those who take risks, innovate, create new products or toil on the farm receive all the protection from unfair trade to which they are entitled,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “The regulations being proposed today reaffirm our commitment.”

The proposed modifications are described in a detailed rule published in the Federal Register. They include:

  • The creation of standalone rules governing Commerce’s conduct of circumvention inquiries. The new rules set out specific timelines, procedures for imposing duties when circumvention is found, and explicit authorization for Commerce to self-initiate. 
  • The creation of rules for Commerce to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in combating duty evasion. The new rules establish a procedure for Commerce to address CBP’s questions about potential evasion, implementing legislation signed into law in 2016.
  • Rules that prevent foreign companies from abusing new shipper reviews. The rules provide that if the foreign company requesting a review fails to provide evidence of bona fide sales, then Commerce can decline to initiate the review – instead of waiting until the review is already underway to obtain such evidence, as is done under Commerce’s current regulations.
  • Updated rules on scope inquiries that streamline existing procedures and expedite deadlines. These revisions also deter abuse of scope procedures by ensuring that AD/CVD duties apply to products determined to be subject to AD/CVD orders, regardless of when a scope ruling was requested. 

Commerce has requested public comment on the proposed rules. The deadline to submit comments is September 14. Commerce will take public comments into account in issuing any final rule.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law has been a critical focus of the Trump administration. As of August 13, Commerce has initiated 281 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 260 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration. Commerce currently maintains 531 antidumping and countervailing duty orders on unfairly traded imports – as compared with 368 orders in place at the end of the previous administration. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.
 

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