The USITC investigates certain alleged unfair practices in import trade. Most complaints under this provision involve allegations of patent infringement or trademark infringement.
U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value ("dumped") or that benefit from countervailable subsidies provided through foreign government programs ("subsidized"). Dumping and certain subsidizing are considered unfair trade practices.
- Global: The USITC determines whether increased imports are a substantial cause of serious injury or threat of serious injury to a U.S. industry producing like or directly competitive products. Global safeguard investigations do not require the finding of an unfair trade practice. Relief provided under this law is temporary in order to provide an industry with time to adjust to import competition. The President determines whether to provide relief.
- China : The USITC determines whether imports of a product from China are causing or threatening to cause market disruption to the domestic producers of like or directly competitive products. The President determines whether to provide relief.
- NAFTA: The USITC determines whether, as a result of the reduction or elimination in a duty under the NAFTA, increased imports from Canada or Mexico are a substantial cause of serious injury or threat of serious injury to a U.S. industry. The President determines whether to provide relief.
The USITC determines whether imports produced in a Communist country are causing market disruption in the United States.
The USITC determines whether goods imported from a non-WTO member country render ineffective or interfere with any program of the Department of Agriculture.
- For firms: The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration administers the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for firms.
- For workers: The Department of Labor administers the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers and the NAFTA transitional assistance program.
The Department of Commerce conducts investigations to determine the effect of imports on the national security.
The U.S. Trade Representative investigates allegations that foreign countries are denying benefits to the United States under trade agreements or are otherwise engaged in unjustifiable, unreasonable, or discriminatory acts that burden or restrict U.S. commerce.