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Thomas Russell

ITC sets schedule for Sunset Review

WASHINGTON - The International Trade Commission will soon start collecting data for its analysis of the antidumping case on Chinese-made wooden bedroom furniture.
     The analysis, called the Sunset Review, starts on the fifth anniversary of the imposition of final duty rates in an antidumping case. In the wood bedroom case, the duties took effect in January 2005.
     Duties such as those attached to Chinese-made wood bedroom aim to limit or reduce the impact of unfairly priced imports on domestic manufacturers of similar goods. The Sunset Review will determine whether there has been ongoing injury to the domestic industry to warrant further duties.
     The Department of Commerce has already supported continuing the duties, saying that dumping, or the sale of goods at below market values, will likely continue.
     As part of its analysis, the International Trade Commission has prepared a 30-plus page questionnaire to gather information relating to the wood bedroom furniture case. Versions of the questionnaire are tailored to domestic manufacturers, importers and Chinese producers.
     George Deyman, a supervisory international trade analyst with the ITC, said the forms will include standard questions the ITC must ask by law, but also will include questions specific to the furniture case. The ITC consulted with interested parties in the case, including law firms representing the various segments of the industry, in creating the questionnaires.
     "We come up with a questionnaire that we hope is fair to all sides and incorporates everything everyone wants," Deyman said.
     ITC commissioners overseeing the review are expected to approve the questionnaires around the third week of June. At that point, the ITC will send it to more than 300 key retailers, importers and Chinese manufacturers as well as petitioners - the domestic manufacturers that support the imposition of duties. Other interested parties also will be able to obtain a copy of the questionnaire at the ITC's website, http://www.
     The deadline to return the forms is Aug. 5, but ITC officials hope to begin receiving them by late July.
     In July and August, the ITC staff will review the questionnaires and will prepare a report for the ITC commissioners. That report is due by Sept. 15 and interested parties will be able to comment on it until Sept. 24.
     On Oct. 5, a public hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the ITC offices at here 500 E St. SW. Anyone wishing to speak at that meeting must notify the ITC at least a week in advance, Deyman said.
     Post-hearing comments must be submitted to the ITC by Oct. 15. The agency will continue to gather information until Nov. 10, but law firms can submit final comments until Nov. 16.
     The ITC commissioners will review the information and make a decision regarding the extension of duties around Nov. 30. The commissioners will then issue a final report on that decision by Dec. 14.

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