On August 5, 2016, the International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) issued a notice determining to review and reverse an initial determination (ID) suspending the investigation in Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Products (Inv. No. 337-TA-1002).
By way of background, this investigation is based on a complaint filed by U.S. Steel Corp. (“U.S. Steel”) alleging violation of Section 337 by a number of Chinese steel companies that are conspiring to fix prices, control output and export volumes in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, misappropriating U.S. Steel trade secrets, and falsely designating the origin or manufacturer of steel products being imported or sold for importation into the U.S. See our April 26, 2016 and June 7, 2016 posts for more details on the complaint and notice of investigation. On July 6, 2016, ALJ Dee Lord issued Order No. 19 suspending the investigation pursuant to Section 337(b)(3) and Commission Rule 210.23 “to allow the Commission to provide the statutorily required noted to the Secretary of Commerce” given that the present matter comes at least “in part” within the purview of the antidumping and countervailing duty laws, and due to “the pendency of proceedings before the Secretary of Commerce.” See our July 6, 2016 post for more details on the ID.
According to the notice, the Secretary of Commerce sent the Commission a letter on July 11, 2016 that acknowledged the ALJ’s ID to suspend the investigation and identified two investigations that “potentially could come within the scope of the Commission's investigation.” Both U.S. Steel and the Commission Investigative Staff petitioned the Commission for review of the ID. Having reviewed the record and the parties’ submissions, the Commission determined to review the ID and vacate the suspension. The Commission denied the respondents’ request for oral argument and remanded the investigation to the ALJ. The reasons for the Commission’s determinations will be explained in a forthcoming opinion.