Court of Appeals Rejects Vietnamese Exporters’ Effort to Reduce Antidumping Duties

On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) summarily affirmed a 2016 U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) decision rejecting the challenges brought by Vietnamese exporters and some U.S. importers against the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) Final Results in the eighth administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The eighth administrative review determined final antidumping duty rates on shrimp import entries made between February 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013.  Both Vietnamese exporters and the U.S. shrimp industry, through the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (“AHSTAC”), challenged Commerce’s Final Results.  The Vietnamese exporters appealed how Commerce chose to value the cost of fresh shrimp inputs for Vietnamese processors and how dumping margins were calculated generally, while AHSTAC challenged how Commerce chose to value labor costs for those producers.  The CIT rejected the Vietnamese exporters’ legal claims but agreed with AHSTAC, leading Commerce to increase the antidumping duties imposed on shrimp imported from Stapimex from 9.75 percent to 10.48 percent and on shrimp imported from all other independent Vietnamese companies participating in the review from 6.37 percent to 6.94 percent.

The change in valuation of labor costs was not at issue in the Vietnamese exporters’ appeal to the Federal Circuit.  Instead, the Vietnamese exporters continued to object to the manner in which Commerce valued the cost of fresh shrimp inputs used in their processing of shrimp.

The Federal Circuit held oral argument on the appeal on Monday and AHSTAC participated in defense of Commerce’s antidumping duty rates.  Two days later, the Federal Circuit issued a summary affirmation of the CIT’s decision.

The Vietnamese exporters now have the option of appealing the Federal Circuit’s affirmance to the Supreme Court.  If the Vietnamese exporters do not seek to further challenge Commerce’s Final Results, the agency will issue instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect additional antidumping duties from all U.S. importers that imported shrimp subject to this antidumping duty order between February 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013.

Review the Federal Circuit’s Rule 36 Judgment in Tri Union Frozen Products, Inc. v. United States (November 7, 2018) here:

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/17-2523.Rule_36_Judgment.11-7-2018.1.pdf.

Listen to the oral argument held before the Federal Circuit on November 5, 2018 in Tri Union Frozen Products, Inc. v. United States here:

http://oralarguments.cafc.uscourts.gov/default.aspx?fl=2017-2523.mp3.

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