Sunset review is a unique mechanism in the United States for competent authorities to consider whether to continue or stop the application of an anti-dumping measure under investigation.
The existence of mechanisms such as a sunset review system (or end-of-term review/final review in many countries) is to comply with the WTO’s rule that all WTO members only maintain the effect of anti-dumping duties to “a specified level and to the extent necessary”.
In each anti-dumping case, a sunset review must be carried out no less than once in the five years after the final conclusion is published. The sunset review mechanism will be implemented before the statute of limitations of anti-dumping measures expires, that is, before the expiration of the period of 5 years.
The purpose of the sunset review is to determine whether the removal of such anti-dumping or countervailing duties may result in the continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies and damages for the domestic industry.
The sunset review is conducted by the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission (ITC). The process begins with the U.S. Department of Commerce conducting a review of the anti-dumping or anti-subsidy order, including notification of initiation and an opportunity for interested parties to provide information on continuing demand for the imposition of duties.
If Commerce determines that the order is no longer needed, it will revoke the order. However, if Commerce finds that the order is still necessary, it will notify the ITC, who will then conduct a separate, parallel review to determine whether the order should be continued, whether the possibility damage to the domestic industry is likely to continue or recur.
During the ITC investigation, interested parties may submit comments and appear at a public hearing to provide testimony.
If both authorities conclude that there is a possibility of causing dumping or subsidies if the imposition of duties is stopped, the duty order will still be maintained. If either agency concludes that there is no dumping or subsidy, the order or suspension will be terminated and enforcement will cease.
The sunset review process is typically conducted on a five-year cycle, although the process may be initiated sooner if an interested party requests it or if Commerce or the ITC determines that the review is necessary.
The sunset review process is an important tool to ensure that anti-dumping and anti-subsidy orders continue to serve their intended purpose of protecting domestic industries from trade practices. However, on the contrary, it is also to protect the interests of exporters if dumping and subsidies have been stabilized, to avoid causing bilateral economic damage.