Understanding General Factfinding Investigations

Section 332, Tariff Act of 1930, General Factfinding Investigations

Under section 332, the USITC investigates a wide variety of trade matters.

When: Upon request from the President, the Senate Committee on Finance, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the USTR, or upon its own motion, the USITC initiates a factfinding investigation on any matter involving tariffs or international trade, including conditions of competition between U.S. and foreign industries.

Duration: Unless otherwise directed, the USITC establishes an administrative deadline. Deadlines for investigations requested by the President, the USTR, or Congress are usually set by mutual agreement.

Finding: USITC general factfinding investigations cover matters related to tariffs or trade. 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 reasons.(For further information, see section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. 1332.)