The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced on August 21, 2020 that it has initiated a Section 332 general factfinding investigation on COVID-19 related industry sectors and particular products. The investigation, COVID-19 Related Goods: The U.S. Industry, Market, Trade, and Supply Chain Challenges, was requested by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in an August 13, 2020 letter. In a final report due by December 15, 2020, the ITC will provide to Congress:

  • a brief overview of key U.S. industry sectors producing COVID-19 related goods, including, but not limited to, medical devices; personal protective equipment; and medicines (pharmaceuticals). The overview will include, to the extent practicable, information on U.S. production, employment and trade.
  • case studies on key products within each relevant industry sector, including N95 respirators, ventilators, vaccines and COVID-19 test kits. The case studies will focus on products for which there were reported shortages in the first half of 2020, including those affected by supply chain fragility, blockages or barriers, and will include information on:
  • the U.S. industry, market and trade, including, to the extent available:
    • the product, including key components and the production process;
    • the size and characteristics of the U.S. market;
    • the U.S. manufacturing industry, including key producers of finished goods and intermediate inputs, the extent of U.S. production and employment; and
    • U.S. imports of finished goods and inputs, including leading source countries and supplying firms; and
  • supply chain challenges and constraints, including, but not limited to:
    • factors affecting domestic production, including, to the extent practicable, regulatory requirements that may impact entry into the market; and
    • foreign trade barriers and restrictions and other factors that may affect U.S. imports of finished goods or inputs needed for domestic production.

In preparing the report, the ITC is seeking public comment from all interested parties and will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation.  The hearing will be held on September 23, 2020 by videoconference. Key dates involving the hearing are:

  • September 11, 2020: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing.
  • September 14, 2020: Deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements.
  • September 23, 2020: Public hearing.
  • September 30, 2020: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements only on issues raised at the hearing.

All filings, including requests to appear at the hearing, must be made through the ITC’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS, on ITC Docket no. 332-580. No in-person paper-based filings or paper copies of any electronic filings are currently being accepted by the ITC. In lieu of or in addition to participating in the hearing, interested parties may file written submissions concerning this investigation until October 2, 2020. All submissions made in this investigation, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Our firm’s International Trade group participates regularly in ITC proceedings; please contact us if your company is interested in providing comments in this investigation.