The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain stainless steel products, certain processes for manufacturing or relating to same and certain products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are stainless steel products including semi-finished products suchas ingots and billets, wire rod in coils, bars and shapes, wire and downstream stainless steel products, such as flanges, forgings, and fasteners.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Valbruna Slater Stainless, Inc., and Valbruna Stainless Inc., both of Fort Wayne, IN, and Acciaierie Valbruna S.p.A. of Vicenza, Italy, on September 5, 2014. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain stainless steel products, certain processes for manufacturing or relating to same and certain products containing same by reason of misappropriation of trade secrets asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Viraj Profiles Limited of Mumbai, India;
Viraj Holdings P. Ltd., of Mumbai, India;
Viraj - U.S.A., Inc., of Garden City, NY;
Flanschenwerk Bebitz GmbH of K”nnern, Germany;
Bebitz Flanges Works Pvt. Ltd. of Maharashtra, India;
Bebitz U.S.A. of Garden City, NY;
Ta Chen Stainless Pipe Co., Ltd., of Tainan, Taiwan; and
Ta Chen International, Inc., of Long Beach, CA.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-933), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.
The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.