Trade Courts Update for Week of February 3, 2016

United States Court of International Trade


Court Affirms in Part and Remands in Part Commerce’s Scope Determination

In Whirlpool Corporation v. United States, Court No. 14-199, Slip Op. 16-8 (February 1, 2016), the court considered Whirlpool’s motion for judgment on the agency record, in which Whirlpool argues that Commerce should have determined that both types of appliance door handles are excluded from the scope of antidumping and countervailing duty orders (the “Orders”). Defendant United States and defendant-intervenor Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee (“AEFTC”), a trade association of U.S. producers of aluminum extrusions and one of two petitioners in the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, oppose plaintiff’s motion. While the court affirmed the Department’s decision as to one of the handle types made from a single aluminum extrusion, the court determined that Commerce unreasonably interpreted the pertinent scope language and the court set aside the Department’s decision, ordering a remand for redetermination. 

Each appliance door handle in the first scope ruling request was an assembly consisting of an aluminum alloy component, plastic end caps, screws, and in some cases other components, depending on the model of assembled handle. The aluminum component was a product of an extrusion process performed upon an aluminum alloy covered by the scope language, however it was only a part of the entire assembly.  The court held that, “[t]he handles at issue are not themselves “extrusions” but rather are assemblies, each of which contains an extrusion, machined and surface-treated, as the principal component.”  If one component of the entire assembly is extruded, it did not follow in the court’s view that the entire assembly was an extrusion under the scope.  Moreover, relying on previous scope rulings as the basis for finding that an assembled handle with one extrusion component is under scope - was misplaced.  Finally, because these handles were finished goods, they should have been excluded under the finished goods exception.  For these reasons the court asked for a remand determination regarding the first scope ruling.