Trade Cases

USS Seeks Reversal of Suspension of Section 337 Investigation

Written by John Packard

United States Steel (USS) has filed a motion to reverse the judge’s decision to suspend the Section 337 investigation pending consultation with the Commerce Department. US Steel was not the only entity which felt the investigation should continue, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations which is part of the International Trade Commission (ITC) also filed a motion to reverse the suspension as well. We discussed the two requests with trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz who was of the opinion that US Steel has a chance to get the suspension reversed. Here is what US Steel and the Office of Unfair Import Investigations argued to the ITC:

US Steel Request

U.S. Steel argued the suspension was legally improper. The pointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce (US DOC) has already completed the antidumping and countervailing duty cases on HR, CR and corrosion resistant. The two cases pending before the US DOC are not relevant to the 337 case complaint because the stainless case is not covered by the 337 complaint and cut to length plate is not produced by US Steel and is not pertinent to the exclusion relief requested.

Office of Unfair Import Investigations

The ITC Staff argues in their documents that the Commission should review and reverse the suspension as well. They argue that the three causes of action authorized by the Commission’s institution of the investigation do not implicate the antidumping or countervailing duty laws:

1) Price fixing is not the same as a finding of dumping, because price fixing involves a conspiracy between producers, not the act of selling a product below “fair value.”

2) Theft of trade secrets is not an issue in AD/CVD cases.

3) Evasion of AD/CVD tariffs is not an issue before Commerce.rade attorney Lewis Leibowitz Comments:

“Of the three points, only 3 is a dubious argument.  The other two are pretty clearly distinct from issues faced in Commerce Department trade cases.  These documents suggest that the ITC could well review and reverse the suspension of the 337 case in the near future.

In addition, the disclaimers by US Steel indicate that the relief they are seeking is not nearly as comprehensive as the press and public may have believed.  Certain products are not likely to be covered by any exclusion order.” 

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