January 06, 2014

International Trade Commission Initiates Sunset Review on Ball Bearings from Japan and the United Kingdom

By Douglas J. Heffner and Richard P. Ferrin

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has initiated the third sunset review of the antidumping duty orders on ball bearings and parts thereof from Japan and the United Kingdom (UK). If your company imports into the United States ball bearings (or parts thereof) that were produced in Japan or the UK, you should consider participating in the sunset review, because this may be an opportunity for the orders to be revoked.

The ITC ordinarily conducts sunset reviews once every five years. The purpose of the sunset review is to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty orders would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. industry. If the ITC makes a negative determination, then the orders are revoked; otherwise, the orders continue in effect for at least another five years. In the second sunset review on ball bearings in 2006, the ITC reached affirmative determinations, resulting in continuation of the orders. Japanese and British bearings manufacturers appealed the ITC determination, and, after several years of litigation at the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT), achieved a reversal in 2011 and revocation of the orders. As a result, the ITC did not conduct a sunset review in 2011. However, earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the CIT decision, which led to reinstatement of the orders. Consequently, the ITC is now initiating the third sunset review of the orders.

The ITC conducts its sunset review process in two steps. In the first step, the ITC asks interested parties to provide answers to a few basic questions to determine whether there will be adequate participation in the reviews. In general, the ITC’s determination whether to conduct a full or expedited sunset review depends primarily on cooperation by the U.S. and foreign producers, and less so on information provided (or not provided) by U.S. importers. Thus, while it may be helpful, it is not essential for U.S. importers to participate at the first stage of the sunset review process.

If the ITC determines that both the U.S. and foreign responding sides have submitted “adequate” responses, then the ITC will conduct a full sunset review. If the ITC decides to conduct a full sunset review, the ITC will, at a later date, announce a schedule for the full sunset review, and prepared more detailed questionnaires, which the ITC will send to U.S. producers, Japanese and British producers, U.S. importers, and to U.S. purchases of ball bearings from Japan and the UK. If the ITC does conduct a full sunset review, then it will be important for U.S. importers to participate by, at a minimum, answering the ITC’s questionnaire. U.S. importers may also want to participate more fully by submitting briefs and/or testify at the ITC’s public hearing, which would be held later in 2014.

Please let us know if you would like further details regarding this sunset review.

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