937 F.Supp. 910 (CIT. 1996), 93-12-00817, Mukand Ltd. v. United States

Docket Nº:Court No. 93-12-00817.
Citation:937 F.Supp. 910
Party Name:MUKAND LTD., Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant, v. AL TECH SPECIALTY STEEL CORP., et al., Defendant-Intervenors. Slip Op. 96-120.
Case Date:August 02, 1996
Court:Court of International Trade
 
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Page 910

937 F.Supp. 910 (CIT. 1996)

MUKAND LTD., Plaintiff,

v.

UNITED STATES, Defendant,

v.

AL TECH SPECIALTY STEEL CORP., et al., Defendant-Intervenors.

Slip Op. 96-120.

Court No. 93-12-00817.

United States Court of International Trade.

Aug. 2, 1996

Page 911

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 912

O'Melveny & Myers (Craig L. McKee, Michael A. Meyer, Gary N. Horlick), Terre Haute, IN, for plaintiff.

Lyn M. Schlitt, General Counsel; James A. Toupin, Assistant General Counsel, United States International Trade Commission (Shara L. Aranoff), for defendant.

Collier, Shannon, Rill & Scott (David A. Hartquist, Laurence J. Lasoff, Robin H. Gilbert, Lynn E. Duffy), Washington, DC, for defendant-intervenors.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GOLDBERG, Judge:

Plaintiff Mukand, Ltd. ("Mukand") commenced this action under 19 U.S.C. § 1516a(b)(1)(B) (1988), challenging the United States International Trade Commission's ("Commission") final affirmative injury determination in the antidumping investigation of stainless steel wire rod from India. Stainless Steel Wire Rod from India, USITC Pub. 2704, Inv. No. 731-TA-638 (Final) (Nov. 1993) (" Commission's Final Determination "). The Court exercises jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1581(c) (1988) and affirms the Commission's Final Determination.

I. BACKGROUND

On December 30, 1992, several domestic stainless steel wire rod producers filed a petition with the Commission alleging that the stainless steel wire rod industry in the United States was materially injured by imports of wire rod from Brazil, France, and India that were being sold at less than fair value. On December 1, 1993, the Commission published its final determination finding material injury by reason of imports from India. On December 20, 1993, Mukand initiated this action challenging the Commission's Final Determination.

II. DISCUSSION

In deciding a motion for judgment on the agency record, the Court analyzes whether Commerce's determination is supported by substantial evidence, and is otherwise in accordance with the law. 19 U.S.C. § 1516a(b)(1)(B) (1988). "Substantial evidence is something more than a 'mere scintilla,' and must be enough reasonably to support a conclusion." Ceramica Regiomontana, S.A. v. United States, 10 CIT 399, 405, 636 F.Supp. 961, 966 (1986) (citations omitted), aff'd, 5 Fed.Cir. (T) 77, 810 F.2d 1137 (1987). In applying this standard, the Court affirms agency determinations that are reasonable and supported by the record when considered as a whole, even though there may be evidence that detracts from the agency's conclusions. Atlantic Sugar, Ltd. v. United States, 2 Fed.Cir. (T) 130, 138, 744 F.2d 1556, 1563 (1984).

A. Competition Determination

The Court finds that substantial evidence supports the Commission's determination that there is competition between Indian wire rod and domestic wire rod, particularly for low end uses. The record supports a finding that Indian wire rod is low-priced, in part due to its low quality, and is used in place of domestic wire rod for applications in which quality is not critical. See Commission Staff Report, INV-Q-182 at I-8 ("Report"); Economics Memorandum, EC-Q-115 at 8 ("Economics Memorandum"). Based upon sales figures, interviews, survey responses, and research prepared by its staff, the Commission reasonably concluded that Indian wire rod displaced domestic wire rod for low end applications. This suggests that the two compete. Accordingly, the Court finds that the Commission's finding of competition is supported by substantial evidence.

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Mukand makes two challenges to the Commission's general conclusion that Indian wire rod competes with domestic wire rod.

1. Sales by Grade and Dimension

Mukand objects to the Commission's method of analyzing competition by categorizing wire rod imports into five standard product types based upon grade and dimension, and then comparing total sales of Indian wire rod in a particular category against the total sales of domestic producers for each category. Using this method, the Commission found that competition existed because both the domestic and Indian producers recorded sales of all five product types in the United States. Commission's Final Determination at I-16 (citing Report at I-30 to I-33).

Mukand argues that this method is misleading because significant variation exists within any particular grade, and these variations dictate what uses the wire rod can actually serve. Mukand also argues that the Commission's reliance on this evidence is inappropriate because there is only a minimal degree of overlap of competition. These arguments are considered in turn.

The Commission has broad discretion in choosing which methodology it will employ to analyze data. Cemex, S.A. v. United States, 16 CIT 251, 255-6, 790 F.Supp. 290, 294-95 (1992). In this case, the Commission utilized a method which withstood review by the Court in Granges Metallverken AB v. United States, 13 CIT 471, 716 F.Supp. 17 (1989). In Granges, Swedish brass was found to compete with the domestic like product based partly on sales data showing that Swedish imports were sold in three of nine standard product categories defined by such factors as alloy, gauge, and width.

Mukand argues that Granges does not apply to the present case because the quality of its wire rod differs so widely within each of the Commission's...

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