Trade Courts Update for Week of August 3, 2016

United States Court of International Trade


Denying Plaintiff’s Claim Regarding the User Defined Rule and Entering Declaratory Judgment in Favor of Plaintiff on Count II of Amended Complaint

In Fed Met Resources Corporation v. United States, Court No. 14-297, Slip Op. 16-75 (August 1, 2016), plaintiff Fedmet Resources Corporation (“Fedmet”), a U.S. importer, challenged an internal directive of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“Customs” or “CBP”) that targeted only Fedmet. Designated by Customs as a “user defined rule,” or “UDR,” the directive instructed Customs port directors on bonding to secure potential antidumping and countervailing duties on entries of a class of imported merchandise, magnesia carbon bricks (“MCBs”), entered by Fedmet during the period from September 6, 2014 to September 30, 2015. However, because the UDR expired according to its own terms soon after the briefing was completed on Fedmet’s motion and because there were no remaining entries upon which the UDR can be applied, the court concluded that plaintiff’s claim challenging the UDR was moot and denied the motion for judgment on the agency record.

In regards to plaintiff’s Count II of the second amended complaint, the court issued in Fedmet I an order declaring unlawful CBP’s decision to require a 260.24% bond on Entry No. 336-3105573-3. However, since plaintiff has not made a showing that relief in the form of an affirmative injunction directing Customs to admit the merchandise on the entry without the posting of a single transaction bond was necessary, the court simply granted declaratory relief.


Remand Results Sustained

In Husteel Co., Ltd., Nexteel Co., Ltd. and Hyundai Hysco v. United States et al., Consol. Court No. 14-215, Slip Op.16-76 (August 2, 2016), the court reviewed the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) Final Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand(“Remand Results”). The Remand Results concern the final determination in the antidumping (“AD”) duty investigation of oil country tubular goods (“OCTG”) from the Republic of Korea (“Korea”), covering the period of investigation (“POI”) between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. The court remanded this matter to Commerce to reconsider or provide further explanation of its mandatoryrespondent selection and its calculation of the constructed value profit margin (“CV Profit”) used in determining the AD duty margin for the selected mandatory respondents, NEXTEEL Co., Ltd. (“NEXTEEL”), and Hyundai HYSCO (“HYSCO”).

As for the mandatory respondents, the court sustained Commerce’s findings since NEXTEEL and HYSCO were the largest producers by volume of OCTG, and ILJIN Steel Co. was an insignificant producer of total OCTG imports from Korea during the period of investigation (“POI”).

As for the calculation of the CV Profit, the court sustained Commerce’s margin based on data from TMK IPSCO’s and Tenaris S.A. (both large multinational producers of OCTG). Because the other producers did not show that they produced any significant portion of OCTG or because the information showed net losses, Commerce’s decision not to rely on other data in its CV Profit calculation was sustained. Moreover, the court sustained Commerce’s findings non-OCTG and OCTG were not of the same general category to use information from other producers’ data regarding non-OCTG. Finally, in regards to the profit cap, the court deferred to Commerce’s selection of best information available, averaging profits earned by Tenaris and TMK.

For all these reasons, the court sustained Commerce’s findings in its Remand Results.


Court Denied Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend its Complaint

In Rienzi & Son, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 07-56, Slip Op. 16-77 (August 2, 2016), the court denied plaintiff’s motion to amend the complaint when the motion to file such pleadings was filed after discovery deadlines and beyond scheduling order deadlines.  Pursuant to an amended scheduling order, parties were required to complete fact discovery by June 10, 2016. On June 29, 2016, some 18 months after the deadline for motions regarding the pleadings elapsed and almost three weeks after the close of discovery, Rienzi filed this Motion to Amend.  Because such an amendment would prejudice defendant by requiring the opening of discovery and plaintiff provided no reasoning for its delay in filing the amended pleading, the court denied plaintiff’s motion.