Court Sends Anti-Dumping Decision Over Thresholds Back to Commerce

September 3rd, 2020 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor

Note: The following article was updated on September 8, 2020, after [DWM] received additional info pertaining to the court’s decision, including a separate memo regarding Columbia Aluminum Products LLC.

The U.S. Court of International Trade sided with Columbia Aluminum Products LLC (Columbia) and Worldwide Door Components Inc. (Worldwide) recently in two separate decisions, demanding that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) revisit its decisions to include door thresholds within the scope of antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders on aluminum extrusions. In opinions published August 27, Chief Judge Timothy C. Stanceu rejected Commerce’s reasoning for including the thresholds, declaring that it rests on misinterpretations of language. Commerce must now within 90 days submit redeterminations, complying with the judge’s opinion in both cases.

In cases against the United States (defendant) and Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee and Endura Products Inc. (enjoining defendants), plaintiffs Columbia and Worldwide contested decisions to include their thresholds in AD/CVD orders issued in May 2011 on aluminum extrusions imported from China. While a single component in each of the involved thresholds is fabricated from an aluminum extrusion identified in the scope language of the AD/CVD orders, each assembly consists of numerous other components not made of aluminum, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other materials. Worldwide submitted a request for a scope ruling (“Scope Ruling Request”) on August 3, 2017, describing eighteen models of door thresholds. Columbia submitted its request for scope ruling March 14, 2018. Commerce answered with rulings, declaring that while the non-aluminum components were not subject to AV/CVD orders, the extruded aluminum part in each threshold was. Both companies later moved to contest those rulings, claiming that Commerce misinterpreted the scope language.

In his recent opinions, Judge Stanceu said that Columbia and Worldwide’s door thresholds are not “aluminum extrusions” at the time of import, but are door thresholds that contain an aluminum extrusion as a component of their assembly.

Among numerous missteps cited in his opinion, the Judge said the scope language “does not expressly include all door thresholds in which there is an extruded aluminum component.” Instead, the inclusion of “door thresholds” in the scope language is confined to door thresholds that are in and of themselves aluminum extrusions, he added.

Commerce must now revisit its decision, giving full and fair consideration to the issue, the Judge declared, including whether or not the exclusion applies, “upon making findings that are supported by substantial record evidence.”

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