USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same

March 26, 2018
News Release 18-035
Inv. No. 337-TA-1105
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain programmable logic controllers (PLCs), components thereof, and products containing same.  The products at issue in the investigation include PLCs used to control the operation of machines that are typically part of factory assembly lines or other industrial applications. 

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Radwell International, Inc., of Willingboro, NJ, on January 19, 2018.  The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain programmable logic controllers (PLCs), components thereof, and products containing same by reason of: (1) a conspiracy to fix resale prices in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act; (2) a conspiracy to boycott resellers in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act; and (3) monopolization in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.  The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

The USITC has identified Rockwell Automation, Inc., of Milwaukee, WI, as the respondent in this investigation.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1105), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.  The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.  The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time.  Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.  USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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