Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations v. United States, No. 22-1021 (Fed. Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
The Department of Commerce initiated a countervailing duty investigation concerning imports of softwood lumber products from Canada and individually investigated five groups of companies that produced and/or exported covered products. Commerce issued a final determination, imposing duties on the products of those companies at company-specific rates ranging from 3.34% to 18.19%, with an “all-others” rate, 14.19%. Within days of publication of the countervailing duty (CVD) order in January 2018, about 36 Canadian companies that alleged they were subject to the all-others rate requested “expedited review” to give them individually determined rates. Commerce initiated that review and ultimately awarded the individual requesters reduced or de minimis CVD rates.
A domestic trade group filed suit, arguing that Commerce lacked statutory authority to create the expedited-review process. Canadian parties intervened and, with the United States, asserted that Commerce had the authority to adopt the expedited-review procedures of 19 C.F.R. 351.214(k) to give exporters a chance to secure individual rates shortly after the publication of a CVD order, arguing for the existence of such authority chiefly in provisions of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, 108 Stat. 4809 (1994). The Trade Court ruled against Commerce. The Federal Circuit reversed, concluding that the Secretary had statutory authority to adopt the expedited-review process as a procedure for implementing statutory provisions that authorize individualized determinations in CVD proceedings, 19 U.S.C. 1667f1(e), 1677m, 3513(a)(2).