CIT Reprimands DOC for Scope Ruling in Chinese Aluminum-Curtainwall Battle

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) will have to revisit its decision to extend anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on some curtainwall units imported from China.

Last week, Judge Donald C. Pogue of the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) reprimanded the DOC for its March 2014 scope ruling that determined Yuanda’s unitized curtainwall units fall under orders on aluminum extrusions from China.

Yuanda, Jango Curtain Wall Americas, Permasteelisa and their affiliates challenged the decision in the CIT, arguing that the scope ruling “is not in accordance with law, unsupported by substantial evidence, and arbitrary and capricious,” according to court documents. The United States, named as the defendant, opposed the motion, as did Architectural Glass & Aluminum Co., Walters & Wolf and Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems Inc., collectively referred to in documents as the “Curtain Wall Coalition.”

In Pogue’s order, entered last Tuesday, February 9, he asserts the DOC’s scope ruling “redefines key terms contrary to the plain language of the [orders] … does not reasonably consider the characteristics of Plaintiffs’ merchandise and the evidence that weighs against the agency’s determination … and offers insufficient reasons for treating similar products differently.”

[View the 48-page opinion and order here.]

The conclusion reads, in part, “… As Commerce anticipated elsewhere, an interpretation of ‘finished goods kit’ that requires ‘all parts to assemble the ultimate downstream product’ to enter at the same time … has led to an ‘unreasonable,’ if not ‘absurd’ result.”

The CIT remanded to the DOC for further consideration, giving the DOC until March 22, 2016 to complete and file its redetermination. Yuanda has until April 5, 2016 to file comments, and the U.S. and the Coalition will have until April 15, 2016 to file any reply.

“At last, a court has applied some common sense to the ‘ungainly semantic gymnastics’ that the Commerce Department continues to offer up,” Yuanda’s John D’Amario tells USGNN.com™ in a statement. “The Curtain Wall Coalition was formed during poor market conditions by its leader, Architectural Glass & Aluminum Company. Their true goal was to eliminate competition for themselves under the guise of protecting North American jobs that were under threat by China, which they would gain industry support for.”

He adds, “This was nothing but an expensive speed bump. Chinese curtainwall contractors are no different than the domestic ones. Everybody has under-priced contract work at one time or another and only the resilient survive.”

A representative of AGA and David Spooner, an attorney for the coalition, hadn’t responded to a request for comment as of press time.

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1 Response to CIT Reprimands DOC for Scope Ruling in Chinese Aluminum-Curtainwall Battle

  1. Stan Guess says:

    The Judge left out one very important fact.. The Chinese government subsidizes the Chinese curtain wall producers via a DUTY DRAW BACK, in other words a rebate, to the Chinese producers. At one time it was around 17%. In other words, for every $1 in curtain wall shipped to the USA the producer in China gets $0.17 from the government. That is unfair trade!

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