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USITC Response to COVID-19

Updated June 1, 2021:  Although the wording on this page has been modified, it contains no new procedures, rules, or notices.

The USITC remains open for business and is closely monitoring the situation.

OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES


The Commission has updated its business operations to be consistent with the Agency Model Safety Principles in the OMB Memo.

Key information on current USITC operations is below.

REOPENING TIMELINE

# Period Start End
1 Mandatory Telework March 19, 2020 Commission’s discretion
2

Limited Building Occupancy

and

Maximum Telework

Commission’s discretion
  • Lifting of all occupancy restrictions by federal authorities, and
  • Commission’s discretion
3 No Occupancy1 Restrictions
(“The New Normal”)
  • Lifting of all occupancy restrictions by federal authorities, and
  • Commission determination
N/A
1The Safety Plan does not cover the No Occupancy Restrictions period. Once that period is reached, the policies and procedures in the USITC’s System of Internal Rules will be in effect for all relevant subject matters

SUMMARY OF KEY AGENCY ACTIVIES BY PERIOD

  MANDATORY TELEWORK LIMITED OCCUPANCY NO OCCUPANCY RESTRICTIONS
Building Access: employees and contractors Designated staff only. Restricted due to maximum building occupancy, subject to change.2 All Building occupancy restrictions are lifted.
Telework Status Mandatory Telework Maximum telework flexibility. Operations consistent with USITC Telework and Attendance and Leave policies.
Building access: public CLOSED CLOSED OPEN
In-person Activities On-Site: Hearing, Conferences, and Meetings Suspended Suspended/ Partially permissible but voluntary Permitted
Work-Related Travel Essential travel only Essential travel only Resume normal operations regarding work-related travel – including essential and non-essential travel
2The Commission may alter the occupancy limit and criteria, based on federal guidance and conditions related to the pandemic.

GENERAL PRACTICE

VISITOR ACCESS to the USITC Building

  • The USITC Building remains closed to the public. Information regarding the change in operations will be posted on the website, as well as any necessary modifications to procedures or protocols related to public access.

SECTION 337 - UPDATED

  • The Commission has ordered the Administrative Law Judges to postpone any in-person hearings until further notice or until the agency enters Phase Three.
     
  • All discovery will continue and any essential outside participation by staff will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
     
  • ALJs will conduct remote Section 337 evidentiary hearings involving confidential business information.
    • WebEx Meeting, a secure FedRAMP-certified video teleconferencing solution, is being utilized for Section 337 hearings and investigation conferences involving confidential business information. The Administrative Law Judge presiding over each investigation has responsibility for determining appropriate hearing procedures. Administrative Law Judges will provide appropriate instructions to parties regarding hearing procedures over WebEx. For general information on the use of WebEx for section 337 proceedings please click here.

TITLE VII PRELIMINARY CONFERENCES, HEARINGS, VOTES AND FACTFINDING HEARINGS - UPDATED

  • Until further notice, no in-person preliminary phase Title VII (antidumping and countervailing duty) staff conferences will be held for new and ongoing investigations. Information and guidance regarding responses to staff questions through written submissions and/or via telephonic and videoconference will be provided to all interested parties by the investigative staff in each affected investigation.

  • The Commission will conduct all Title VII votes by notation, and there will be no in-person vote until further notice. Vote outcomes will be reported via news releases in the News Release section on the homepage of the USITC web site, as usual, and posted on EDIS.

  • Until further notice, no in-person hearings will be held for final phase Title VII investigations, five-year (sunset) reviews, and those held under Section 332 and Section 131.
    • WebEx Meeting, a secure FedRAMP-certified video teleconferencing solution, is being utilized for final phase Title VII investigations, five-year (sunset) reviews, and those held under Section 332 and Section 131. The Commission staff will provide specific information and guidance to parties in each affected investigation on procedures, in lieu of in-person hearings. The Commission may also announce future changes to its procedures.

  • Title VII-related FAQs (Updated)
     
  • Temporary Change to Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Conference and Hearing Procedures

AGENCY MEETINGS, SEMINARS, AND BRIEFINGS WITH OUTSIDE VISITORS

  • All scheduled in-person group meetings, seminars, and conferences are canceled or postponed until further notice.

VENDORS – INVOICE SUBMISSION

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

FOIA REQUESTS

  • There may be delays in responding to FOIA requests that seek documents that are available only in hard copy. It is possible that FOIA staff will be unable to process requests and correspondence submitted by mail until FOIA staff is physically back in the office. You may submit FOIA requests using our online portal or by email to FOIA.SE.SE@usitc.gov. We encourage you to send any other FOIA-related correspondence to FOIA.SE.SE@usitc.gov or to our FOIA Public Liaison, Sharon Bellamy at sharon.bellamy@usitc.gov.

QUESTIONS?

Media inquiries and general questions: Peg O’Laughlin, margaret.olaughlin@usitc.gov

Filing questions: edis3help@usitc.gov
[Note: general telephone lines in the Office of the Secretary will not be monitored. Please send an email with your contact information and a staff member will call you.]

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

FEDERAL LINKS ABOUT COVID-19

The U.S. Government has established 3 top-level websites for the latest official information on COVID-19.

  • coronavirus.gov is the primary portal for public information curated by the COVID-19 Task Force at the White House, working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agency stakeholders, and links to the appropriate Federal agency website as the authoritative source for that information as necessary.
     
  • www.cdc.gov/coronavirus provides the latest public health and safety information from the CDC and for the overarching medical and health provider community on COVID-19. The site contains consumer and medical information on how the virus spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, stigma, cases and what to do if you are sick, along with frequently asked questions.
     
  • www.usa.gov/coronavirus catalogs all U.S. government activities related to COVID-19; it is also available in Spanish at https://www.usa.gov/espanol/coronavirus.

  • www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/covid-19/ The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) works closely with a number of federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of State, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) at the Department of Labor to provide updated information to Federal agencies and employees as it becomes available.