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From the "where are they now" department: Charlotte Lane, who was nominated to the U.S. International Trade Commission by President George W. Bush in 2004, continues to serve as one of that agency's six commissioners.
Many readers will recall that Lane served on the West Virginia Public Service Commission from 1985 to 1989 and from 1997 to 2003.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency. Its duties include investigating the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries.
In October, the commission held a hearing on imports of wooden bedroom furniture from China. It's a market that imports dominate.
According to a Tuesday article in The Wall Street Journal, some U.S. furniture makers annually ask the U.S. Commerce Department to review the U.S. duties paid by Chinese manufacturers on the furniture. "Many Chinese firms, fearing a steep rise in duties, agreed within months each time to pay cash to their U.S. competitors in return for being removed from the review list," the Journal reported.
A group of 20 U.S. manufacturers received payments totaling about $13 million from 2006 to 2009, according to a trade commission report.
The Journal reported that Lane said at the October hearing she was "very, very troubled" by the settlements, adding, "I cannot figure out for the life of me how they are actually legal."
Reach George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.