193 F.Supp.2d 1303 (CIT. 2002), Court 98-10-02975, Windmill Intern. PTE., Ltd. v. United States
|Docket Nº:||Court 98-10-02975|
|Citation:||193 F.Supp.2d 1303|
|Party Name:||Windmill Intern. PTE., Ltd. v. United States|
|Case Date:||February 21, 2002|
|Court:||Court of International Trade|
Windmill International Pte., Ltd. (Edward Young) for Windmill.
Robert D. McCallum, Jr., Assistant Attorney General; David M. Cohen, Director, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice (Velta A. Melnbrencis, Assistant Director, Kenneth J. Guido, Special Attorney, Richard P. Schroeder and Michele D. Lynch); of counsel: Barbara Campbell Potter, Office of the Chief Counsel for Import Administration, United States Department of Commerce, for the United States.
Dewey Ballantine LLP, (Michael H. Stein, Bradford L. Ward and Mel M. Negussie) for Defendant-Intervenors.
TSOUCALAS, Senior Judge.
Plaintiff, Windmill International Pte., Ltd. ("Windmill"), moves pursuant to USCIT R. 56.2 for judgment upon the agency record challenging the Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration's ("Commerce") rescission of the antidumping duty administrative review entitled Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate From Romania: Notice of Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review (" Rescission Notice "), 63 Fed.Reg. 47,232 (Sept. 4, 1998). Specifically, Windmill contends that Commerce unlawfully rescinded the administrative review at issue after Commerce determined that there was no bona fide sale.
This case concerns the antidumping duty order on cut-to-length carbon steel plate ("CSP") imported into the United States
from Romania during the period of review ("POR") covering August 1, 1996, through July 31, 1997. Commerce initiated the subject review on September 25, 1997. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Requests for Revocation in Part, 62 Fed.Reg. 50,292 (Sept. 25, 1997). 1 On September 4, 1998, Commerce published the Rescission Notice. See 63 Fed.Reg. at 47,232. Windmill initiated the case at bar against Commerce on November 3, 1998, and on December 9, 1998, this Court granted the consent motion of Bethlehem Steel Corporation and U.S. Steel Group, a Unit of USX Corporation ("Domestic Producers") to enter as defendant-intervenors.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
In reviewing a challenge to Commerce's final determination in an antidumping administrative review, the Court will uphold Commerce's determination unless it is "unsupported by substantial evidence on the record, or otherwise not in accordance with law ...." 19 U.S.C. § 1516a(b)(1)(B)(i) (1994).
I. Substantial Evidence Test
Substantial evidence is "more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 477, 71 S.Ct. 456, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951) (quoting Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229, 59 S.Ct. 206, 83 L.Ed. 126 (1938)). Substantial evidence "is something less than the weight of the evidence, and the possibility of drawing two inconsistent conclusions from the evidence does not prevent an administrative agency's finding from being supported by substantial evidence." Consolo v. Federal Maritime Comm'n, 383 U.S. 607, 620, 86 S.Ct. 1018, 16 L.Ed.2d 131 (1966) (citations omitted). Moreover, "[t]he court may not substitute its judgment for that of the [agency] when the choice is 'between two fairly conflicting views, even though the court would justifiably have made a different choice had the matter been before it de novo.' " American Spring Wire Corp. v. United States, 8 CIT 20, 22, 590 F.Supp. 1273, 1276 (1984) (quoting Penntech Papers, Inc. v. NLRB, 706 F.2d 18, 22-23 (1st Cir.1983) (quoting, in turn, Universal Camera, 340 U.S. at 488, 71 S.Ct. 456)).
II. Chevron Two-Step Analysis
To determine whether Commerce's interpretation and application of the antidumping statute is "in accordance with law," the Court must undertake the two-step analysis prescribed by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (" Chevron "), 467 U.S. 837, 104 S.Ct. 2778, 81 L.Ed.2d 694 (1984). Under the first step, the Court reviews Commerce's construction of a statutory provision to determine whether "Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue." Id. at 842, 104 S.Ct. 2778. "To ascertain whether Congress had an intention on the precise question at issue, [the Court] employ[s] the 'traditional tools of statutory construction.' " Timex V.I., Inc. v. United States, 157 F.3d 879, 882 (Fed.Cir.1998) (citing Chevron, 467 U.S. at 843 n. 9, 104 S.Ct. 2778). "The first and foremost 'tool' to be used is the statute's text,
giving it its plain meaning. Because a statute's text is Congress's final expression of its intent, if the text answers the question, that is the end of the matter." Id. (citations omitted). Beyond the statute's text, the tools of statutory construction "include the statute's structure, canons of statutory construction, and legislative history." Id. (citations omitted); but see Floral Trade Council v. United States, 23 CIT 20, 22 n. 6, 41 F.Supp.2d 319, 323 n. 6 (1999) (noting that "[n]ot all rules of statutory construction rise to the level of a canon, however") (citation omitted).
If, after employing the first prong of Chevron, the Court determines that the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the question for the Court becomes whether Commerce's construction of the statute is permissible. See Chevron, 467 U.S. at 843, 104 S.Ct. 2778. Essentially, this is an inquiry into the reasonableness of Commerce's interpretation. See Fujitsu Gen. Ltd. v. United States, 88 F.3d 1034, 1038 (Fed.Cir.1996). Provided Commerce has acted rationally, the Court may not substitute its judgment for the agency's. See Koyo Seiko Co. v. United States, 36 F.3d 1565, 1570 (Fed.Cir.1994) (holding that "a court must defer to an agency's reasonable interpretation of a statute even if the court might have preferred another"); see also IPSCO, Inc. v. United States, 965 F.2d 1056, 1061 (Fed.Cir.1992). The "[C]ourt will sustain the determination if it is reasonable and supported by the record as a whole, including whatever fairly detracts from the substantiality of the evidence." Negev Phosphates, Ltd. v. United States, 12 CIT 1074, 1077, 699 F.Supp. 938, 942 (1988) (citations omitted). In determining whether Commerce's interpretation is reasonable, the Court considers the following non-exclusive list of factors: the express terms of the provisions at issue, the objectives of those provisions and the objectives of the antidumping scheme as a whole. See Mitsubishi Heavy Indus. v. United States, 22 CIT 541, 545, 15 F.Supp.2d 807, 813 (1998).
I. Commerce's Determination That Windmill's Sale Was Not Bona Fide
An antidumping duty is imposed upon imported merchandise when: (1) Commerce determines such merchandise is being dumped, that is, sold or likely to be sold in the United States at less than fair market value; and (2) the International Trade Commission determines that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury as a result of such dumping. See 19 U.S.C. §§ 1673, 1677(34) (1994). In determining antidumping duties, Commerce is required to determine "the normal value 2 and export price 3 ... of each entry of the subject merchandise." 19 U.S.C. § 1675(a)(2)(A) (1994). 4 "While the language
of [section 1675(a)(2)(A) ] appears to be all-inclusive, the Court has provided a limited exception which allows Commerce to 'exclude sales from United States Price in an administrative review in exceptional circumstances when those sales are unrepresentative and extremely distortive.' " American Silicon Techs. v. United States (" American Silicon "), 24 CIT 612, ----, 110 F.Supp.2d 992, 995 (2000) (quoting FAG U.K. Ltd. v. United States (" FAG U.K."), 20 CIT 1277, 1281-82, 945 F.Supp. 260, 265 (1996)).
During the POR, Windmill shipped two sales to the United States for the purpose of initiating an administrative review that had a deadline of July 31, 1997. See Rescission Notice, 63 Fed.Reg. at 47,232. Windmill's first sale was a "test shipment" sent by ocean carrier to an unaffiliated United States purchaser. 5 See id. "When it became apparent in late July 1997 that [the first] sale would not enter U.S. [C]ustoms territory during the POR," Windmill and the same United States purchaser from the first sale negotiated a second sale which consisted of two CSPs that weighed 1.112 metric tons and entered United States Customs territory by air on the last day of the POR (that is, July 31, 1997). Id.
On July 24, 1998, Domestic Producers argued that Windmill's sale shipped by air to the unaffiliated United States purchaser was a non-bona fide sale and requested that Commerce rescind the administrative review. See id.
Commerce, in a letter dated August 13, 1998, explained to Windmill that its sale of the two CSPs weighing 1.112 metric tons was not a bona fide sale because:
a. The cost of the air freight, customs fees, brokerage expenses, warehousing, and miscellaneous expenses (which were borne by the U.S. [purchaser], and not Windmill) was significantly greater than the total value of the sale.
b. By Windmill's own admission, the decision to send the shipment by air, rather than by ocean, was based solely on...
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