News & Events

Court of Int’l Trade Issues Favorable Decision for JSW Steel in Commerce Dept’s Tariff Exemption Process

Where Advocacy Meets Business

August 2020 – Law360 reported on a recent decision from the Court of International Trade in favor of Chaffetz Lindsey’s client, JSW Steel (USA).  In the first court decision addressing exemptions from the President’s 25% tariff on steel imports, the Court found that the Commerce Department’s decisions denying JSW exemption from the tariffs violated the Administrative Procedure Act, because Commerce’s decisions “are devoid of explanation and frustrate judicial review,”  and because of “defects in the record and Commerce’s failure to engage with record evidence.”

The Court remanded the matter to the agency for reconsideration. The Court denied JSW’s request for discovery “at this juncture” concerning ex parte communications between the Commerce officials and representatives of U.S. Steel, Nucor and AK Steel, who objected to JSW’s exclusion requests.  However, the Court ordered Commerce to “certify” whether it directly or indirectly considered those ex parte communications in denying JSW’s exclusion requests.  The Court also directed that, if Commerce claims it did not consider these ex parte communications, it must explain to the Court “how it determined that the discussions at these meetings with the objectors were not directly or indirectly considered in its decisions.”  The Commerce Department must provide this certification by August 17, 2020.

The Chaffetz Lindsey team included Sandy Litvack, Drew Poplinger, R. Matthew Burke, Gerard Bifulco and Oslen Grant.  The Law360 article is available here, though a subscription might be required for access.



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