Trade Updates for Week of May 17, 2017

United States Court of International Trade


Motion of Preliminary Injunction Granted

In Nexteel Co., Ltd. and Husteel Co., Ltd. and Hyundai Steel Company v. United States, Slip Op. 17-59, Court No. 17-91 (May 15, 2017), the court reviewed plaintiff-intervenor Husteel Co., Ltd.’s (“Husteel”) partial consent motionfor preliminary injunction to enjoin defendant United States from liquidating Husteel’s entries of certain oil country tubular goods (“OCTG”) from the Republic of Korea (“Korea”).  These OCTG were produced and/or exported by Husteel and are subject to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) final results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on OCTG from Korea covering the period July 18, 2014 to August 31, 2015. Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Korea, 82 Fed. Reg. 18,105 (Dep’t Commerce Apr. 17, 2017).

While the government did not oppose Husteel’s motion on the basis of the four factor test for injunctive relief, it did argue that the motion sought to enlarge the issues in the case by requesting an injunction for entries not the subject of plaintiff’s complaint.  According to the court, a motion for preliminary injunction, which does not raise new or additional substantive issues, does not enlarge the plaintiff’s complaint, because it merely ensures that the judicial opinion resulting from the present litigation will govern entries that are already covered by the administrative review and subject to the Final Results being challenged. The court, therefore granted the motion for preliminary injunction and enjoined defendant, during the pendency of this litigation including any appeals and remands, from issuing instructions to liquidate or allowing liquidation of any entries of certain OCTG from Korea, produced and/or exported by Husteel, Co., Ltd.  and are the subject of Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Korea, 82 Fed. Reg. 18,105 (Dep’t Commerce April 17, 2017) (final results of antidumping duty administrative review; 2015-2015). 


Light Gauge Compression Hosiery Does Not Qualify for Nairobi Protocol Treatment, Compression Armsleeves Do.

Compression socks having 15-20 milligrams of mercury compression strength do not qualify for duty free entry under the HTS subheading 9817.00.96 provision for “articles specially designed for the blind and physically handicapped”, according to a new decision of the United States Court of International Trade.

In Sigvaris Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 17-60 (May 17, 2017), the court noted that the compression hosiery was used to treat chronic venous insufficiency and lymphedema, chronic conditions which the court noted to be disabling. However, it held that while compression hosiery with higher compression (over 20 mm/Hg) were used by handicapped persons, the court ruled that lighter gauge products were used by ambulatory persons who were not “bedridden” and thus, in the Court’s view, not “handicapped”. For the first time, it appears, the court focused not on the condition being treated, in determining whether goods qualified for Nairobi Protoccol treatment, but rather on the severity of the symptoms the items were intended to treat.       

However, the Court ruled that compression armsleeves used by mastectomy patients did qualify for duty free HTS subheading 9817.00.96 treatment, rejecting a government claim that persons with only one functioning arm were not disabled.