January 26, 2021
News Release 21-011
Inv. No(s). 332-585
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USTIC to Investigate Effect of Foreign Censorship on U.S. Businesses

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for a new general factfinding investigation on the effects of foreign censorship policies and practices on businesses in the United States.

The investigation, Foreign Censorship: Trade and Economic Effects on U.S. Businesses, was requested by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance (Committee) in a letter received on January 4, 2021.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will analyze the effects of censorship policies and practices in key foreign markets on businesses in the United States. The report will:

  • identify foreign censorship policies and practices and provide examples that U.S. businesses believe impede trade or investment in key foreign markets;

  • describe these policies, including details of how they have evolved over the past 5 years, instances of extraterritorial censorship, and the roles of governmental and non-government actors in their implementation and enforcement; and

  • provide qualitative and quantitative analyses of the trade and economic effects of these policies and practices on affected U.S. businesses, with a focus on their impacts on employment, direct costs, forgone revenue and sales, and other relevant effects.

The USITC expects to transmit its report to the Committee no later than July 5, 2022.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigations at 9:30 a.m. on September 14, 2021. 

Information about how to participate in the hearing will be posted on the Commission’s website no later than August 3, 2021, at https://usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/what_we_are_working_on.htm.

Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on August 24, 2021, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC  20436.  See below for important information regarding filing a request to appear at a USITC hearing.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record.  Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission and should be submitted no later than 5:15 p.m. on October 1, 2021. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.  See below for important information regarding the filing of written submissions for USITC investigations.

IMPORTANT:  All filings to appear at the hearing and written submissions must be made through the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS, https://edis.usitc.gov).  No in-person paper-based filings or paper copies of any electronic filings will be accepted until further notice. Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary, Docket Services Division (EDIS3Help@usitc.gov),  or consult the Commission’s Handbook on Filing Procedures.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the USITC’s notice of investigation, dated January 26, 2021, which can be  downloaded from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at commissionhearings@usitc.gov

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance.  The resulting reports convey the Commission’s objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated.  The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports.  Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester.  General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public unless they are classified by the requester for national security reason.

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