Early last month, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) initiated an investigation targeting four auto parts importers at the request of Hyundai Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor America. Hyundai claimed in May that unauthorized auto parts were imported into the United States in violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to raise concerns over safety and affect its profits.
The four importers in question are Direct Technologies International, AJ Auto Spare Parts, John Auto Spare Parts, and Cuong Anh. The first is an American company, the second and third are UAE companies, and the fourth is a Vietnamese company. According to Section 337 of the act, the import of a product can be banned by the USITC when it infringes upon the intellectual property rights of an American company or individual.
The USITC recently told the four importers to submit written answers. “The firms imported unauthorized auto parts at low prices to affect the profits of original parts suppliers in the United States and infringe upon our trademark rights,” Hyundai explained.
Experts are saying that Hyundai’s intention is to improve its sales and service structures in the U.S. market. “Hyundai, which has focused on selling more cars in the United States so far, is intending to protect itself and partner firms by blocking the use of non-original auto parts in its vehicles in the market,” one of them said.