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USITC Response to COVID-19

Updated September 23, 2022:  Commission will resume hearings and re-open to the public on September 29, 2022. Until Sept. 29, 2022, all Commission pandemic related procedures or rules remain in effect.

New Key Information

  • The Commission has updated the procedures and courtroom/hearing room policies for in-person hearings, including procedures for the process for requesting virtual participation. Please refer to the investigation Federal Register Notice or on the Commission’s Monthly Calendar

  • In accordance with the latest Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance (September 15, 2022) , if the District of Columbia community levels reach HIGH, the USITC Building will be closed to the public and all proceedings will be held virtually using the WebEx platform. Each Thursday at approximately 5:00 p.m., the Commission will the post the operating status for the following week on the home page.

  • The following describes the Federal Facility COVID-19 Safety Protocols.
Federal Facility COVID-19 Safety Protocols When COVID-19 Community Level is LOW When COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM When COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH
Federal employee vaccination requirement pursuant to E.O. 14043 No implementation or enforcement given a nationwide injunction1 No implementation or enforcement given a nationwide injunction1 No implementation or enforcement given a nationwide injunction1
To be consistent with Task Force guidance, agencies would need to require documentation of vaccination status from employees, and ask about the vaccination status of onsite contractor employees and visitors. Pause, given that COVID-19 safety protocols do not vary by vaccination status at this time Pause, given that COVID-19 safety protocols do not vary by vaccination status at this time Pause, given that COVID-19 safety protocols do not vary by vaccination status at this time
Agencies must require all individuals to wear a high-quality mask or respirator (such as an N95) regardless of vaccination status. NO2
(mask-wearing optional)
NO2
(mask-wearing optional)
YES
To be consistent with Task Force guidance, agencies would need to require symptom screening self-checks for all individuals prior to entry to Federal facilities.3 YES YES YES
Agencies must instruct all individuals known to be exposed to COVID-19 to wear a high-quality mask or respirator (such as an N95), take other post-exposure precautions, and watch for symptoms for 10 full days after exposure, consistent with CDC guidance—instead of at-home quarantine and regardless of vaccination status. Agencies must require individuals exposed to COVID-19 be tested at least 5 full days (ideally, on or after day 6) after their last exposure. YES YES YES
Agencies must instruct all individuals with probable or confirmed COVID-19 to follow agency isolation protocols and take other precautions consistent with CDC guidance. YES YES YES
To be consistent with Task Force guidance, agencies would need to make and maintain improvements to indoor ventilation and air filtration to the maximum extent feasible. YES YES YES
To be consistent with Task Force guidance, agencies would need to post signage encouraging individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to consider physically distancing themselves from others and avoiding crowding in indoor common areas, meeting rooms, and high-risk settings in Federal facilities. NO YES YES

2Agencies may need to require individuals to wear masks in certain Federal facilities or workplaces, or otherwise when Federal employees are on duty in certain settings, to be consistent with CDC guidance and other regulations.

3Symptom screening can be self-conducted and does not need to be verified by agency personnel. See the screening tool developed by CDC.

  • Public parking is not available in the USITC Building.

  • This will continue to be an iterative process. These initial procedures and policies will be modified over time as we resume normal operations with adequate notice to all parties and the public.

OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES


The Commission continues to update its business operations to be consistent with the Agency Model Safety Principles in the OMB Memo and the latest Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance.

Key information on current USITC operations is below.

GENERAL PRACTICE

  • Commission proceedings and public access to the USITC Building will resume on September 29, 2022.
     
    • Note that, until September 29, 2002, the USITC Building remains closed to the public, though certain scheduled in-person meetings are permissible with prior approval.

  • Commission employees are in the Building with increased teleworking flexibility, consistent with USITC Telework and Attendance and Leave policies. Commission staff may be contacted at their USITC telephone numbers and email addresses, as usual.
     
  • Federal Register notices announcing any changes to the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure that remain in effect:
     
  • The Office of the Secretary will continue to accept only electronic filings during this time. Filings must be made through the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS, https://edis.usitc.gov). No in-person, paper-based filings or paper copies of any electronic filings will be accepted until further notice. See the Federal Register notices above.

  • Commission Proceedings. WebEx Meeting will continue to be used by the Commission during proceedings for observation purposes and in certain circumstances may be used for remote witness participation. Filing requirements and instructions for possible remote participation will be clearly outlined in Federal Register Notices or Administrative Law Judge instructions.

  • Please email EDIS3Help@usitc.gov to make arrangements to submit physical exhibits.

VISITOR ACCESS to the USITC Building

  • Public access to the USITC Building will resume on September 29, 2022.
     
    • Note that, until September 29, 2002, the USITC Building remains closed to the public, though certain scheduled in-person meetings are permissible with prior approval.

SECTION 337

  • In-person hearings are authorized to resume on September 29, 2022. Parties will receive instructions from the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in each pending investigation as to whether a hearing will be in-person or by video, based on current building resources, the needs of the investigation, and the discretion of the ALJ.
     
    • Note that, until September 29, 2002, the USITC Building remains closed to the public, though certain scheduled in-person meetings are permissible with prior approval.

    • Section 337-related FAQs

TITLE VII PRELIMINARY CONFERENCES, HEARINGS, VOTES AND FACTFINDING HEARINGS

  • In-person staff conferences will resume starting September 29, 2022.
     
    • Note that, until September 29, 2002, the USITC Building remains closed to the public, though certain scheduled in-person meetings are permissible with prior approval.

  • In-person Commission Title VII votes will resume on September 29, 2022.

  • In-person Commission hearings will resume on September 29, 2022.
     
    • The first in-person hearing will be Chlorinated lsocyanurates from China and Spain, Inv. Nos. 731-TA-1082-1083 (Third Review).

    • Note that, until September 29, 2002, the USITC Building remains closed to the public, though certain scheduled in-person meetings are permissible with prior approval.

  • The Commission will issue a Federal Register Notice for any current Title VII investigations, five-year (sunset) reviews, and those investigations held under Section 332 and Section 131, occurring September 29, 2022, or later, noting the filing requirements for interested parties to request possible participation as a remote witness.

  • The Commission will issue Federal Register Notices for all future Title VII investigations, five-year (sunset) reviews, and those investigations held under Section 332 and Section 131 that will include filing requirements for interested parties to request possible participation as a remote witness.

  • Observation of Commission Title VII investigations, five-year (sunset) reviews, and those investigations held under Section 332 and Section 131 will remain available via WebEx Meeting.

  • Information on format and WebEx Meeting information is available on the Commissions Monthly Calendar. The calendar is regularly updated and should contain information for at least the current month and the following 2 months.

VENDORS – INVOICE SUBMISSION

  • Vendors should continue to submit invoices to Invoices@usitc.gov. The Commission will continue to process them as normal.

FOIA REQUESTS

QUESTIONS?

Media inquiries and general questions: the Office of Public Affairs,
publicaffairs@usitc.gov

Filing questions: edis3help@usitc.gov
[Note: General telephone lines in the Office of the Secretary are monitored. However, to facilitate a quick response, we strongly recommend that individuals send an email with their contact information and a staff member will respond.]

Hearing-related questions: commissionhearings@usitc.gov or preliminaryconferences@usitc.gov

FEDERAL LINKS ABOUT COVID-19 (Updated 9/23/22)

The U.S. Government has established top-level websites for the latest official information on COVID-19.