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SolarWorld sought imposition of antidumping duties under 19 U.S.C. 1673–1673h and countervailing duties under 19 U.S.C. 1671– 1671h on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, modules, laminates, and panels (CSPV products) imported from China. The U.S. Department of Commerce agreed that the subject imports were being sold in the U.S. at less than fair value and were being unfairly subsidized by the Chinese government. The International Trade Commission determined that a U.S. industry was materially injured by reason of imports of the CSPV products from China. The Court of International Trade rejected an argument that the Commission had not properly found the required causal connection between the unfairly priced or subsidized imports and the weakened state of the domestic industry and sustained the Commission’s determination. The Federal Circuit affirmed. In substance, the Commission made a determination of “but-for causation” and had an adequate basis for doing so. The determination rested on detailed findings about demand conditions and the domestic market's business cycle, the roles of conventional and renewable sources of electricity, government incentives and regulations at all levels, domestic consumption trends, market segments, who was supplying the domestic market, what happened to prices and market shares during the period of investigation, and the ways in which the domestic industry’s financial performance was very poor and deteriorating. View "Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. v. International Trade Commission" on Justia Law

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Pleasure-Way, manufactures and sells Class B motorhomes. In 2008-2009, having bought 144 DaimlerChrysler AG “Sprinter” vans in the U.S., Pleasure-Way exported them to its facility in Canada, where it converted them into its Plateau TS and Ascent TS motorhomes, by installing fully-plumbed kitchen and bathroom fixtures with freshwater and sewage tanks, water heaters, sleeping quarters, countertops with propane burners, microwave ovens, wall-mounted televisions, refrigerators, large picture windows and porch lights, awnings, running boards, and exterior showers. When Pleasure-Way imported the resulting motorhomes into the U.S., it sought to avoid their being classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), 8703.33.00, arguing that the motorhomes should be classified under subheading 9802.00.50, as “[g]oods re-entered after repair or alteration in Canada or Mexico.” Customs rejected the argument and assessed a 2.5% ad valorem import duty. The Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment against Pleasure-Way. Pleasure-Way gave the converted motorhomes new names and sold them at a price double to triple the market price for Sprinter vans. It marketed them as upscale leisure vehicles for vacationing and recreation, while the Sprinter vans were marketed primarily as cargo vans. The likely use and consumer base for the vans as exported were broadly different from those for the motorhomes imported after conversion. View "Pleasure-Way Industries, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Commerce Department can impose countervailing duties (CVDs) on imported goods if it “determines that the government of a country . . . is providing, directly or indirectly, a countervailable subsidy with respect to” an imported good, 19 U.S.C. 1671(a)(1), and assessed CVD rate of 374.15% on entries of aluminum extrusions from China. Other importers challenged that rate at the Trade Court in a separate case, resulting in an "all-others" rate of 7.37% on entries of aluminum extrusions from China. Capella was not part of the litigation and never sought administrative review of its entries, so those entries were subject to automatic liquidation at the 374.15% cash deposit rate in effect at the time of the entries. The Federal Circuit affirmed the Trade Court’s dismissal of Capella’s complaints. Sections 1516a(c)(1); (e) state the CVD rate that applies to pre-Timken notice entries when liquidation is not enjoined by court decision or the subject of administrative review: the rate Commerce established in its final determination. Capella’s entries were made before the Timken notice and Capella did not participate in the separate litigation or request administrative review of its entries, so Capella could not claim the benefit of the lower all-others rate awarded to the litigants. View "Capella Sales & Services Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law

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In a dispute concerning the proper Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) classification of 38 entries of Chemtall’s product, acrylamido tertiary butyl sulfonic acid (ATBS) during 2010 and 2011, the Trade Court concluded that ATBS was not an “amide” but a derivative of amide. ATBS contains an amide functional group and has a hydrocarbyl group in the R1 position; a hydrogen atom in the R2 position; and a compound containing hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur (S) atoms in the R3 position. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The great weight of authority indicates that amides, when precisely defined, are limited to having only hydrogen, alkyl, or aryl groups bonded to the nitrogen atom. Because ATBS contains sulfonic acid (SO3H) in a radical attached to the nitrogen atom of the amide functional group, ATBS cannot, under the definitions provided in the secondary sources, be an amide. View "Chemtall, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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The International Trades Commission instituted a section 337 investigation based on Cisco’s complaint alleging that Arista’s imports of certain network devices, related software, and components thereof infringed six of its patents. An ALJ issued a final initial determination finding a violation with respect to three patents, but no violation based on two other patents, 19 U.S.C. 1337(a)(1)(B)(i). The sixth patent had previously been terminated from the investigation. On review, the Commission upheld those findings and entered a limited exclusion order against imports by Arista of “certain network devices, related software and components thereof.” The Federal Circuit affirmed. The Commission sufficiently articulated its findings and employed claim construction requiring “router configuration data” to be “stored in said database.” View "Arista Net 2 Works, Inc. v. International Trade Commission" on Justia Law

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Hemlock and Sachsen manufacture components of solar-power products. They entered into a series of long-term supply agreements (LTAs), by which Hemlock in Michigan would supply Sachsen in Germany with set quantities of polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) at fixed prices from 2006-2019. The market price of polysilicon was initially well above the LTA price, but the market price plummeted after the Chinese government began subsidizing its national production of polysilicon. The parties reached a temporary agreement to lower the LTA price in 2011. When that agreement expired, Hemlock demanded that Sachsen pay the original LTA price for 2012. Sachsen refused. Hemlock sued for breach of contract. The district court granted Hemlock summary judgment and awarded nearly $800 million in damages and prejudgment interest. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The district court: properly struck Sachsen’s antitrust defense because enforcing the take-or-pay provision does not require the parties to engage in the precise conduct that is allegedly unlawful; properly struck Sachsen’s defense that the LTAs illegally tied Sachsen’s predominant demand for polysilicon to a single seller in violation of E.U. antitrust law; properly concluded that Sachsen’s affirmative defenses of commercial impracticability and frustration of purpose lack merit; and properly awarded the full amount of the remaining contract price as liquidated damages, despite Sachsen’s argument that the award was an unreasonable penalty. View "Hemlock Semiconductor Operations, LLC v. SolarWorld Industries Sachsen GMBH" on Justia Law

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Hemlock and Sachsen manufacture components of solar-power products. They entered into a series of long-term supply agreements (LTAs), by which Hemlock in Michigan would supply Sachsen in Germany with set quantities of polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) at fixed prices from 2006-2019. The market price of polysilicon was initially well above the LTA price, but the market price plummeted after the Chinese government began subsidizing its national production of polysilicon. The parties reached a temporary agreement to lower the LTA price in 2011. When that agreement expired, Hemlock demanded that Sachsen pay the original LTA price for 2012. Sachsen refused. Hemlock sued for breach of contract. The district court granted Hemlock summary judgment and awarded nearly $800 million in damages and prejudgment interest. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The district court: properly struck Sachsen’s antitrust defense because enforcing the take-or-pay provision does not require the parties to engage in the precise conduct that is allegedly unlawful; properly struck Sachsen’s defense that the LTAs illegally tied Sachsen’s predominant demand for polysilicon to a single seller in violation of E.U. antitrust law; properly concluded that Sachsen’s affirmative defenses of commercial impracticability and frustration of purpose lack merit; and properly awarded the full amount of the remaining contract price as liquidated damages, despite Sachsen’s argument that the award was an unreasonable penalty. View "Hemlock Semiconductor Operations, LLC v. SolarWorld Industries Sachsen GMBH" on Justia Law

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In response to a 2005 petition (19 U.S.C. 1673), the Department of Commerce found that diamond sawblades from China were likely sold in the U.S. at less than fair value. For non-market economy (NME) countries, Commerce begins with a rebuttable presumption that all companies within the country are subject to government control and assigns a single antidumping duty rate unless an exporter can demonstrate that it is sufficiently independent. Commerce concluded that ATM qualified for a separate rate of 2.50%. The Trade Court remanded twice. Commerce then concluded that ATM had failed to rebut the presumption of government control, finding that a Chinese government agency controlled one of five ATM entities. The Trade Court and Federal Circuit affirmed in 2013. Commerce conducted its first administrative review before those decisions and found that ATM qualified for a separate rate of 0.15%. On remand, Commerce concluded that ATM did not qualify for a separate rate The China-wide entity rate was then 164.09%. Commerce recalculated that rate—which would apply to ATM and all other members of the China-wide entity—by averaging the previously assigned China-wide rate and the ATM rate, arriving at an entity-wide rate of 82.12%. The Trade Court and Federal Circuit affirmed. Despite ATM’s cooperation with Commerce, it failed to prove independence from government control. View "Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers Coalition v. United States" on Justia Law

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Container Store’s top tracks and hanging standards, components of its elfa® modular storage and organization system, were imported through Houston in 2007-2008. Customs liquidated the merchandise under Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheading 8302.41.60, a provision for base metal mountings and fittings suitable for buildings. Container Store filed unsuccessful protests, arguing that the merchandise should be classified under subheading 9403.90.80 as parts of furniture. Customs had previously held that the elfa® top tracks and hanging standards were properly classified under subheading 8302.41.60 as mountings suitable for buildings. The Trade Court placed an appeal on its reserve calendar pending resolution of another appeal involving identical merchandise, in which Judge Ridgway ultimately granted Container Store summary judgment. The government later abandoned an appeal. Judge Barnett reached a different conclusion in the present case. The Federal Circuit reversed. The elfa® system constitutes “unit furniture” because it is designed to be hung on a wall, is “fitted with other pieces to form a larger system,” and can be “assembled together in various ways to suit the consumer’s individual needs to hold various objects or articles.” Given that the tracks and standards are designed exclusively for the elfa® unit furniture system, they are properly classified as parts of unit furniture under subheading 9403.90.80. View "The Container Store v. United States" on Justia Law

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The U.S. Department of Commerce issued final results in the eighth administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warm water shrimp from India. Using the “average-to-transaction” methodology with zeroing, Commerce assessed one mandatory respondent with a 1.97 percent duty for entries during a period in 2012. Using a “mixed alternative” methodology, which blends both the average-to-transaction and average-to-average methodologies, Commerce assessed the second mandatory respondent with a 3.01 percent duty for the same time period. Non-mandatory respondents were assessed with a simple-averaged antidumping duty of 2.49 percent. Exporters subject to Commerce’s antidumping duties on frozen warm water shrimp from India challenged the methodology used to calculate the antidumping duties on a number of grounds related to Commerce’s decision to use the average-to-transaction methodology and zeroing. The Court of International Trade and the Federal Circuit affirmed Commerce’s choices of methodologies as a reasonable exercise of its delegated authority, entitled to deference. Commerce provided rationales in support of its analysis and chose the methodology that reasonably achieves the overarching statutory aim of addressing targeted or masked dumping. View "Apex Frozen Foods Private Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law