Trade Courts Update for Week of July 6, 2016

United States Court of International Trade

 

Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment on the Agency Record Denied

IKEA Supply AG, v. United States and Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee, concerns a challenge to the Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) determination that certain towel racks imported by IKEA fell within the scope of two antidumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum extrusions from the People’s Republic of China.  Court No. 15-00153, Slip Op. 16-65 (July 5, 2016).   IKEA moved for judgment on the agency record, arguing that the subject towel racks were “finished merchandise” or “finished goods kits” excluded from the scope of the Orders.   AD Order, 76 Fed. Reg. 30,650 (“The scope…excludes finished merchandise containing aluminum extrusions as parts that are fully and permanently assembled and completed at the time of entry…The scope…excludes finished goods containing aluminum extrusions that are entered unassembled in a “finished goods kit.”).  The Court denied Plaintiff’s motion and affirmed Commerce’s scope ruling. 

The Court found that the subject towel racks were not eligible for the “finished merchandise” exclusion because they consisted of a single aluminum extrusion and therefore were not composed of parts that could be fully or permanently assembled.  This interpretation of the Orders is consistent with the recent opinion in Whirlpool Corporation v. United States, Slip. Op. 16-8, 2016 WL 385454 (CIT Feb. 1, 2016), which held that door handles composed of a single aluminum extrusion and imported with screws and an Allen wrench were not eligible for the “finished merchandise” exclusion.  Furthermore, the Court reasoned, the towel racks were not eligible for the “finished goods kit” exclusion because plastic gasket or steel brackets included with the towel racks for assembly constituted “fasteners,” that are not considered “parts” for purposes of the subject Orders.  The gaskets and brackets are used to secure the rack to the wall and therefore fall within the common and commercial meaning of the term “fasteners.”  Because the towel racks were not eligible for any of the scope exclusions, the Court affirmed Commerce’s scope ruling finding that the subject goods were within the scope of the Orders.

 

 

Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment on the Agency Record Denied

In IKEA Supply AG, v. United States and Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee, the Court addressed the issue of whether certain imported cabinet/drawer handles were within the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum extrusions from the People’s Republic of China.  Court No. 15-00152, Slip Op. 16-66 (July 5, 2016).  As in IKEA I, Plaintiff argued that Commerce erred in finding that the goods were within the scope of the Orders because the goods were eligible for the “finished merchandise” or “finished goods kits” exclusions.  The Court held that, as with the towel racks, the handles consisted of just one aluminum extrusion and therefore do not consitute a finished product.  Furthermore, the steel screw and nut included with the handle are fasteners that are not considered parts for purposes of the “finished goods kits” exclusion.  As such, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion and affirmed Commerce’s scope ruling. 

Remand Redetermination Affirmed

Before the court, in Papierfabrik August Kohler, AG v. United States, Court No. 12-91, Slip Op.16-67 (July 6, 2016) was the “Remand Redetermination” Commerce issued in response to a previous order of the court, which remanded the amended final results so that Commerce could consider evidence of improper conduct that came to the Department’s attention after the amended final results were issued. Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand Order in Papierfabrik August Koehler AG v. United States, Consol. Ct. No. 12-00091 (June 16, 2014), ECF No. 75 (“Remand Redetermination”). Upon a finding that Koehler fraudulently omitted certain sales from its submitted database of home market sales, the Remand Redetermination assigned Koehler, a German producer and exporter of the subject merchandise, a 75.36% antidumping duty rate based on the use of facts otherwise available, as well as an adverse inference, that Commerce applied to the entire determination. Koehler opposed the Remand Redetermination in a motion for judgment on the agency record, and Appleton Papers, Inc., which is a domestic producer of lightweight thermal paper and the petitioner in the original antidumping duty investigation supported the Remand Redetermination.  Because Kohler engaged in a transshipment scheme and withheld complete and accurate information regarding its total quantity and value of sales requested in the Section A Questionnaire, and certain otherwise reportable home market sales transactions, as requested in the Section B Questionnaire, Commerce used adverse facts available and determined an applicable margin of 75.36%.

The court held that in situations like these, where Kohler withheld important information until Appleton revealed it in the third administrative review, Commerce was within its discretion to not permit Kohler to correct the deficiency.  Moreover, the 75.36 % rate was corroborated and was relevant and reliable because it fell within the range of transaction-specific margins the Department calculated based on Koehler’s reported data, with the highest transaction-specific margin being 144.63 percent.  The court affirmed these findings and upheld the Remand Redetermination.