Cumulation of Import Statistics in Injury Investigations before the International Trade Commission

Mock, William B.T. Jr. | January 1, 1986

United States manufacturers have sometimes found themselves unable to identify which unfair import competitors have injured their industries when sources of unfair competition exist in more than one country. These manufacturers have had some redress from unfair trade available to them through various federal trade laws, including, inter alia, the antidumping and countervailing duty laws. Until recently, however, these laws have largely addressed unfair trade competition coming from a single foreign country source at a time; they have not, however, addressed the “hammering effect” of unfair competition from many sources operating in the market at once or sequentially. The International Trade Commission (“Commission”) is the federal agency responsible for determining injury to domestic industries under these trade laws. Over the years the Commission has developed an analytic approach for dealing with multiple-source injury to domestic industries. This approach is known as “cumulation.” When the Commission applies this approach, it combines import statistics from all the cumulated sources and assesses their combined impact upon the domestic industry for purposes of determining whether the domestic industry has been injured. When foreign competition is considered en masse, its impact appears more significant, thereby increasing the likelihood that the Commission will make an affirmative injury determination.