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International Trade Commission, Ministry of Economic Affairs International Trade Commission, Ministry of Economic Affairs

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1. What is the background of establishing ITC?
To promote trade globalization and liberalization, the government promulgated the Foreign Trade Act on February 5, 1993. At the same time, in order to help domestic industry to obtain relief and undertake necessary restructuring when injured as a result of imports, Article 18 of the Foreign Trade Act was enacted in accordance with Article 19 of the GATT, giving the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) the power to establish the International Trade Commission (ITC) to deal with industrial injury investigations. On July 1, 1994, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has been formally established in accordance with “The Organizational Regulations of the International Trade Commission.”

2. What is the ITC's goal?
The ITC has the responsibility of injury investigations for countervailing and antidumping cases in accordance with Article 19 of the Foreign Trade Act. The ITC's goal is to provide the domestic industries about appropriate safeguard measures that may be used to deal with import competition.

3. What is the organization of the Commission?
(1) Commission Meeting:
A Vice/Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs serves concurrently as Chairperson of the Commission. All of the Commissioners work on a part-time basis, and are appointed by the ITC Chairperson. The Commissioners serve a term of three years and may be appointed to a second term. They include:
A. The Vice/Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs;
B. The Vice/Deputy Minister of Finance;
C. The Vice/Deputy Minister of National Development Council, Executive Yuan;
D. The Vice/Deputy Minister of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan;
E. The Vice/Deputy Minister of Labor;
F. Eight to ten other Commissioners who have expertise in industry, economics, trade, finance, taxation or law.
(2) Administrative Departments:
There is an Executive Secretary to handle administrative affairs, and a Deputy Executive Secretary to provide assistance. There is an Investigation Division, a Legal Affairs Office, and a Secretariat. ITC's Personnel and Accounting staff are assigned from the MOEA Personnel Office and Accounting Offices.

4. What are the duties of the Commission Meeting?
The Commission convenes to discharge the following responsibilities:
(1) To decide whether a domestic industry has been injured.
(2) To recommend whether or not an import relief measure is to be adopted.
(3) To recommend whether or not to terminate, modify, or extend import relief measures.
(4) To review the ITC rules and regulations.
(5) To consider and act on proposals brought up in a Commission Meeting.
(6) To decide other matters as appropriate.

5. What are the duties of the administrative departments?
Affairs handled by the Investigation Division, Legal Affairs Office, Secretariat, Assigned Personnel Staff and Assigned Accounting Staff are as follows:
(1) Injury investigation for import relief cases regarding goods, textiles and clothing.
(2) Injury investigation for countervailing and antidumping cases.
(3) Consultation, counsel and service on import relief cases regarding goods, textiles and clothing.
(4) Research on the matters of import relief regarding goods, textiles and clothing.
(5) Drafting of the rules and regulations of trade remedy.
(6) Research, handling and coordination on dispute settlement cases regarding trade remedy.
(7) Research, handling and coordination on the early warning system for trade remedy.
(8) Handling contacts for and coordinating forum on trade remedy.
(9) Participation in international cooperative actions related to trade remedy.
(10)Research, documentation, filing, procurement and management.
(11)Handling of matters regarding personnel management and accounting

6. What is the purpose of ITC’s holding a hearing?
In the course of conducting anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard investigations, the ITC is required by law to hold hearings. The purpose of hearings is to provide all interested parties with an opportunity to present their views and evidence, and for the ITC to gather information regarding subject investigations. No judgment or decision on investigations is made in hearings.

7. When shall ITC publish a public notice of a hearing?
Before holding a hearing or when to change date or venue, the ITC shall publish a public notice in the Government Gazettes and notify all known interested parties.

8. What does a public notice of a hearing contain?
A public notice of a hearing contains information on the following:
(1) Subject investigation, issues, and legal bases for holding a hearing;
(2) Names and addresses of known interested parties;
(3) Date and venue of a hearing;
(4) Major proceedings of a hearing;
(5) Assigning agents, with power of attorney;
(6) Rights of interested parties to attend a hearing;
(7) Consequences of interested parties’ absence from a hearing;
(8) Competent authority
(9) Registration deadline for attendance.

9. How does an interested party register for attending a hearing?
Those who wish to attend a hearing are encouraged to register with the ITC prior to the deadline through ITC’s website www.moeaitc.gov.tw, or by fax or email, so that the ITC can arrange seating, time allocation and other miscellaneous matters. In addition to name and the entity a participant represents, attendance registration shall specify a participant’s stance, namely in favor or against, as well as whether they will make a presentation at a hearing.

10. How does an interested party submit written comments in a hearing?
To proceed with a hearing without interruption, written comments are not accepted during a hearing and can be sent to the ITC in advance. If comments require confidential treatment, reasons should be stated and a summarized non-confidential version should be provided for other interested parties to review. Where a request for confidentiality is not warranted or non-confidential version thereof is not provided, the ITC should disregard such information. If participants wish to distribute written comments and other supplementary materials in a hearing, sufficient hard copies should be provided and placed at designated location.

11. Why does the ITC hold a prehearing meeting?
The purpose of a prehearing meeting is to arrange the sequence and time allocation of presentations in the first session of a hearing. A prehearing meeting is often held half an hour before a hearing, while exact time will depend on complexity of subject investigation and the number of participants who have registered to make presentations. Basically, those who have registered to make presentations in a hearing will be divided into two groups based on their stance in favor or against subject investigation. Time period for each group to make presentations in the first session of a hearing are equal, so participants of same group should discuss speaking order for presentations and time allocation for each presentation. Otherwise, the ITC may make suggestions or arrangements at its discretion.

12. What does a chairperson brief at the beginning of a hearing?
A hearing is presided over by a Commissioner in charge of subject investigation. At the beginning of a hearing, a chairperson will give a briefing on background of subject investigation, sequence of presentations and allocated time for each presentation as arranged in a prehearing meeting, as well as other matters. The time will not be extended for interpretation.

13. How does each session of a hearing proceed?
A hearing proceeds in four sessions.
(1) In the first session, participants in favor of subject investigation make their presentations first, followed by those against the investigation. For each presentation, one signal will be given to indicate that there are two minutes remaining before the end of allocated time; another signal indicates that time is up. If all speakers finish their presentations with time left, remaining time can be reserved and becomes available for those speakers and other participants of same group. The ITC will not read out statements of interested parties who are absent from a hearing. Instead, those statements can be read out by the parties’ agents or other interested parties.
(2) The second session is for cross examination between two groups. Upon chairperson' s consent, participants from either group may raise questions and demand answers from opposite group. Cross examination session will proceed in following order: participants in favor of subject investigation ask a question and opposite group responds; then participants from opposing group ask a question and supporting group responds. The “ask and respond” process may go back and forth between two groups. Time limit for each question-response will depend on complexity of questions and the number of persons who intend to reply.
(3) In the third session, staff of ITC’s investigation task force may ask questions relevant to subject investigation for participants to respond.
(4) In the fourth session, questions may be put to ITC' s investigation task force with regard to regulations and procedures of subject investigation. When opinions have been fully expressed through four sessions, a chairperson may declare the hearing adjourned.

14. How does an interested party confirm hearing transcript?
All the presentations, comments, questions and responses in a hearing are recorded and transcribed. Before a hearing is adjourned, the chairperson will announce the date and venue for transcript confirmation. Those who have given presentations, made comments, asked or responded questions may sign in person or authorize agents to confirm a transcript. Should there be any disagreement over a transcript, the ITC may make alterations if objections are sustained. The ITC will note down facts and reasons which interested parties raise objections to and the result that others fail to come forward to review a transcript.

15. What are other things interested parties’ have to know before attending a hearing?
(1) Date and venue of a hearing will be announced by a public notice.
(2) The ITC should be contacted at least three days prior to a hearing if facilities, such as whiteboards, projectors, video players, and so on, are needed for presentations.
(3) A hearing is conducted in Chinese. Participants wishing to speak in other languages shall provide their own interpreters.
(4) The purpose of a hearing is to gather information and opinions from all interested parties. No conclusions will be made at a hearing.
(5) A hearing transcript will be attached as an annex of injury investigation report.
(6) Code of conduct
A. Mobile phones shall be switched off or muted.
B. No clapping or other disruptions are allowed during a hearing.
C. No interference or questioning is allowed when presentations are going on.
D. Statements and comments shall be relevant to subject investigation, and verbal abuse is not allowed.
E. Members of the press shall be seated at specially designated seats. Photo taking or video recording shall cease 10 minutes after the start of a hearing, and shall only be done so from specially designated area.
F. Speakers shall identify themselves by name and company before speaking.
G. To prevent a hearing from stalling, the chairperson may forbid participants from speaking. Those who impede hearing process may be asked to leave venue.

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