Star Pipe Products v. United States, No. 19-2381 (Fed. Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Department of Commerce issued an antidumping order, 19 U.S.C. 1673(d)–(e), on steel threaded rod (STR) from China, describing the physical characteristics of the STR, including shape, finish, construction, and metallurgical requirements. Commerce prescribed several exclusions for merchandise that would otherwise meet the order’s “description.” None of these exclusions relate to mixed media items. Star Pipe requested a scope ruling to clarify whether its Joint Restraint Kits are within the scope of the Order. The Kits consist of a combination of castings, bolts, bolt nuts, washers, and STR components, which Star conceded “if imported alone, would be covered" under the Order. Star argued the STR components were merely incidental components used to secure the castings. Commerce found nothing in the STR Order or its history indicating that otherwise-subject merchandise should be treated differently due to its packaging with other merchandise.
The Trade Court and Federal Circuit upheld Commerce’s ruling. Star’s STR components are within the literal scope of the STR Order. If the order’s language and history do not establish that subject merchandise should be treated differently on the basis of its inclusion within a mixed media set, then “a presumption arises that the included merchandise is subject to the order.” The court rejected a challenge to Commerce’s liquidation instruction as moot because Star is not at risk of any assessment of duties on the entries at issue.