The Commission periodically issues in depth reports on trade in specific products. Commonly referred to as industry "summaries," the reports describe the product and its uses, identify the principal U.S. and foreign producers, indicate the current customs treatment, and provide information, including statistical data on imports and exports, relating to trade in the product and the competitive conditions affecting U.S. and foreign producers in the U.S. and foreign markets. The reports are made available to the public in electronic form.
These investigations are conducted under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C 1337). If the Commission finds a violation of section 337 to exist, it may issue a remedial order in the form of an exclusion and/or cease and desist orders. Such orders become effective 60 days after they are issued unless disapproved by the President. Section 337 investigations are generally conducted on the basis of a complaint that alleges a violation of section 337 in the form of unfair competition in the importation of products into, or their subsequent sale in, the United States, that infringe a U.S. patent, copyright, registered trademark, or mask work. The Commission will also conduct a section 337 investigation on the basis of a complaint that alleges other unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in the importation and subsequent sale of products in the United States, the threat or effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure a domestic industry, prevent the establishment of such an industry, or restrain or monopolize trade and commerce in the United States.
Section 337 investigations require formal evidentiary hearings in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq). The hearings are held before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Parties to these investigations include complainants, respondents, and the Commission attorney representing the public interest. Following the hearing, the ALJ issues an initial determination on all issues related to violations of section 337. The Commission may review and adopt, modify, or reverse the ALJ's decision. If the Commission does not review the initial determination, it becomes the Commission's decision.