The Role of the U.S. International Trade Commission and Federal Trade Commission in Trade Relations

On June 21, 2019, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with Boston Scientific and The Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT) to host Commissioner Meredith Broadbent of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) and Randy Tritell, Director of the Office of International Affairs at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Commissioner Broadbent provided clarity on the United States Mexico Trade Agreement (USMCA) and the impacts of tariffs on the USITC. Randy Tritell weighed in on the FTC’s expanded international presence and focus on antitrust violations. The U.S International Trade Commission and the Federal Trade Commission rarely interact, but their ability to serve well in their distinct roles is important for a strong international presence that promotes and values competition in business.

The USMCA started with language from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and evolved into the USMCA with a few key changes. The USMCA includes provisions that allow parties to withdraw from the agreement unilaterally with six months’ notice, a provision on currency manipulation, and language that dissuades cooperation with nonmarket economies. Additionally, the USMCA includes clauses that requires 75% of auto parts be made in the US, and 40% of each car be manufactured by workers making at least $16 per hour to avoid tariffs. Tariffs require a great deal of “tedious but vital” adjustments to the harmonized tariff schedule that are handled by the USITC.

The Federal Trade Commission prioritizes addressing anticompetitive and deceptive business practices that adversely impact consumers. In the last 25 years the number of antitrust agencies have “exploded” to over 120 agencies nationwide. Within the last year alone, the FTC has expanded their international presence greatly leading to an increase in international partnerships and regulatory framework to further protect U.S. customers. In 2017, the FTC played a pivotal role in the police raids in India that have led to a decrease in the amount of IRS imposter calls.

With the expansion of trade and globalization, it is vital that both the USITC and the FTC continue their work in their respective fields to best serve citizens of the U.S.


Project summary

The Role of the U.S. International Trade Commission and Federal Trade Commission in Trade Relations | June 2019
Number of Visitors: 1
Number of Attendees: 31
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: Mexico, United States, Canada
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector, Public Sector