Administration of Suspension Agreements by the Department of Commerce

NSIAD-84-125: Published: Jun 15, 1984. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed provisions for the suspension of Department of Commerce antidumping investigations through agreements reached with foreign governments or exporters.

GAO found that Commerce may suspend an antidumping or countervailing duty investigation if the foreign government or exporter involved agrees to correct or neutralize the unfair trade practice being investigated. Such agreements are usually more beneficial to foreign governments or exporters than the imposition of countervailing duties because of differences in the timing and impact of the types of remedial actions. In addition, GAO found that: (1) the anticipated benefits of suspension agreements have not been realized because, in many cases, investigations continue after suspension agreements are signed; and (2) for a variety of reasons, Commerce has had difficulties in monitoring and enforcing suspension agreements.

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