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USITC Releases New Administrative Protective Order (APO) Handbook and Forms

Attention import injury practitioners!  The USITC has rolled out a fully updated handbook and interactive forms related to its administrative protective order (APO) procedures in import injury investigations.

What is an Administrative Protective Order?

In antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations, the USITC receives and collects significant amounts of "business proprietary information" (BPI), such as data on private companies' profits, investment, and production processes.  Similarly, in global safeguard investigations, the USITC receives and collects "confidential business information" (CBI).  The Commission holds BPI/CBI in strict confidence and does not publish such information in ways that would reveal the operations of individual firms without the consent of the submitter.

However, the Commission is required by statute to make the BPI/CBI gathered in such investigations available to certain authorized applicants in the proceeding.  This access is permitted subject to an administrative protective order, which is issued by the Secretary to the Commission and is designed to protect the confidentiality of the BPI/CBI.  The APO process is governed by statute and the USITC’s rules.

What has changed?

In its first revision since 2008, the USITC APO handbook includes these key updates:

The USITC also has re-created all APO-related forms, making them fully electronic PDFs.  Users now will be able to fill out, sign, and submit the forms entirely online.  The updated forms

  • include current information concerning methods of service, and 
  • require authorized applicants to provide more specific information that the party represented qualifies as an interested party for APO service.

Where can I find more information?

An Introduction to Administrative Protective Order Practice in Import Injury Investigations (Fifth Edition), USITC Publication 5052, April 2020, can be found on the USITC website at https://usitc.gov/sites/default/files/publications/701_731/pub5052_apo_practice.pdf.  

For more information, contact the Office of the Secretary at:  EDIS3Help@usitc.gov