Elkem Metals Co. v. U.S., Court No. 99-10-00628.

CourtU.S. Court of International Trade
Writing for the CourtEaton
Citation276 F.Supp.2d 1296
PartiesELKEM METALS CO., American Alloys, Inc., Applied Industrial Materials Corp., and CC Metals & Alloys, Inc., Plaintiffs, and Globe Metallurgical, Inc., Plaintiff-Intervenor, v. UNITED STATES of America, Defendant, and Ferroatlantica De Venezuela, General Motors Corp., Associação Brasileira dos Productores de Ferroligas e de Silico Metalico, et al., and Ronly Holdings, Ltd., et al., Defendant-Intervenors.
Docket NumberCourt No. 99-10-00628.,SLIP OP. 03-66.
Decision Date18 June 2003
276 F.Supp.2d 1296
ELKEM METALS CO., American Alloys, Inc., Applied Industrial Materials Corp., and CC Metals & Alloys, Inc., Plaintiffs, and
Globe Metallurgical, Inc., Plaintiff-Intervenor,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Defendant, and
Ferroatlantica De Venezuela, General Motors Corp., Associação Brasileira dos Productores de Ferroligas e de Silico Metalico, et al., and Ronly Holdings, Ltd., et al., Defendant-Intervenors.
Court No. 99-10-00628.
SLIP OP. 03-66.
United States Court of International Trade.
June 18, 2003.

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Piper Rudnick, LLP (William D. Kramer, Martin Schaefermeier), Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA (Dale Hershey, Mary K. Austin), and Howrey Simon Arnold & White, LLP (John W. Nields, Jr., Laura S. Shores) for Plaintiff Elkem Metals Company.

Altheimer & Gray, Chicago, IL (Theodore J. Low) for Plaintiff Applied Industrial Materials Corporation.

Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, PLLC, Washington, DC (George R. Kucik, Eugene J. Meigher, Stephen L. Gibson, Kate B. Briscoe), and Thelen Reid & Priest, LLP, Washington, DC (Gerald Zingone) for Plaintiff CC Metals & Alloys, Inc.

Dangel & Mattchen, LLP, Boston, MA (Edward T. Dangel, III, Michael K. Mattchen) for Plaintiff-Intervenor Globe Metallurgical, Inc.

Lyn M. Schlitt, General Counsel, United States International Trade Commission, James M. Lyons, Deputy General Counsel, United States International Trade Commission (Marc A. Bernstein) for Defendant.

Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler, LLP, Washington, DC (Julie C. Mendoza, Donald B. Cameron, R. Will Planert, Margaret Scicluna Rudin) for Defendant-Intervenor Ferroatlantica de Venezuela.

Hogan & Hartson, LLP, Washington, DC (Mark S. McConnell) for Defendant-Intervenor General Motors Corporation.

Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Washington, DC (Philippe M. Bruno, Kevin B. Bedell) for Defendant-Intervenors Associação Brasileira dos Productores de Ferroligas e de Silicio Metalico, Companhia Brasileira

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Carbureto de Calcio-CBCC, Companhia de Ferroligas de Bahia-FERBASA; Nova Era Silicon S/A, Italmagnesio S/A-Industria e Comercio, Rima Industrial S/A, and Companhia Ferroligas Minas Gerais-Minasligas.

Aitken Irvin Berlin & Vrooman, LLP (Bruce Aitken, Virginie Lecaillon) for Defendant-Intervenors Ronly Holdings, Ltd., Cheliubinski Electrometalurgical Works, Kuznetsk Ferroalloy Works, Stakhanov Ferroalloy Works, and Zaporozhye Ferroalloy Works.

OPINION AND ORDER

EATON, Judge.


Before the court are the motions of plaintiffs Elkem Metals Company ("Elkem"), American Alloys, Inc. ("American Alloys"),1 Applied Industrial Materials Corporation ("AIMCOR"), and CC Metals & Alloys, Inc. ("CCMA"), and plaintiff-intervenor Globe Metallurgical, Inc. ("Globe") (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), for judgment upon the agency record pursuant to USCIT R. 56.2. Plaintiffs challenge the United States International Trade Commission's ("ITC") negative injury determination in Ferrosilicon From Braz., China, Kaz., Russ., Ukr., Ven., 64 Fed. Reg. 47,865 (ITC Sept. 1, 1999) (reconsideration determination). See Views of the Commission, Ferrosilicon From Braz., China, Kaz., Russ., Ukr., Ven., Invs. Nos. 303-TA-23, 731-TA-566-570, and 731-TA-641 (Reconsideration), USITC Pub. 3218 (Aug.1999), Pub. R. List 1, Doc. 558AR ("Reconsideration Determination"). In Elkem Metals Co. v. United States, 26 CIT ___, 193 F.Supp.2d 1314 (2002) ("Elkem IV"), familiarity with which is presumed, this court remanded the Reconsideration Determination with respect to certain procedural issues.2 The ITC's Reconsideration Determination, as modified on remand, is the subject of this action. The court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1581(c) and 19 U.S.C. § 1516a(a)(2)(B)(ii) (2000). For the reasons set forth below, the court remands this matter for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

BACKGROUND

In response to petitions filed on behalf of the domestic ferrosilicon industry in 1992 and 1993, the ITC instituted investigations of ferrosilicon from Brazil, Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China ("China"), Russia, Ukraine, and Venezuela ("Subject Countries"). See Reconsideration Determination at 12. The ITC selected the years 1989 through 1993 as the period of investigation ("Original POI").3 See id. During its investigations, the ITC collected data for those years by various means, including by issuance of questionnaires.

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Between late 1989 and mid-1991 ("Conspiracy Period"), a conspiracy to fix prices of commodity ferrosilicon existed among three domestic ferrosilicon producers: (1) Elkem, (2) American Alloys, and (3) SKW Metals & Alloys, Inc. ("SKW")4 (collectively, "Conspirators"). Reconsideration Determination at 10. The price-fixing conspiracy, however, was not brought to the ITC's attention during the Original POI. Id. at 11-12. Therefore, in 1993 and 1994, the ITC issued final affirmative injury determinations with respect to the Subject Countries. See Ferrosilicon From the P.R.C., 58 Fed.Reg. 13,503 (ITC Mar. 11, 1993) (final determination); Ferrosilicon From Kaz. and Ukr., 58 Fed.Reg. 16,847 (ITC Mar. 31, 1993) (final determination); Ferrosilicon From Russ. and Ven., 58 Fed. Reg. 34,064 (ITC June 23, 1993) (final determination); Ferrosilicon From Braz., 59 Fed.Reg. 10,165 (ITC Mar. 3, 1994) (final determination). In 1995, Elkem and American Alloys pled guilty to charges that they had conspired to fix prices of commodity ferrosilicon in violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 (1990). See Pub. R. List 1, Doc. 325, Ex. 6 & 7 (plea agreements of Elkem and American Alloys). In 1997, a jury convicted SKW and a corporate officer of SKW, Mr. Charles Zak, of criminal charges related to the conspiracy. See United States v. SKW Metals & Alloys, Inc., 4 F.Supp.2d 166 (W.D.N.Y.1997), aff'd, remanded on other grounds, 195 F.3d 83 (2d Cir.1999).

The ITC learned of the conspiracy only in 1998 when the Brazilian respondents in the original investigation petitioned the ITC for a changed circumstances review of the final affirmative injury determination relating to ferrosilicon from Brazil. See Ferrosilicon From Braz., China, Kaz., Russ., Ukr., and Ven., 63 Fed.Reg. 27,747 (ITC May 20, 1998) (request for comments regarding institution of changed circumstances revs.). On July 28, 1998, the ITC instituted the requested changed circumstances review and, further, self-initiated changed circumstances reviews of the other related final affirmative material injury determinations-i.e., those pertaining to China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, and Venezuela. See Ferrosilicon From Braz., China, Kaz., Russ., Ukr., Ven., 63 Fed. Reg. 40,314 (ITC July 28, 1998) (notice of institution of changed circumstances revs.). After receiving comments with respect to issues concerning the conspiracy, the ITC suspended these changed circumstances reviews and gave notice of its intention to initiate reconsideration proceedings. See Ferrosilicon From Braz., China, Kaz., Russ., Ukr., Ven., 64 Fed.Reg. 28,212 (ITC May 25, 1999) (notice of suspension of changed circumstances revs. and institution of reconsideration proceedings) ("Notice"). Subsequently, the ITC reversed and vacated its original affirmative injury determinations and issued a negative injury determination with respect to the original investigations. Reconsideration Determination at 1.

Thereafter, Plaintiffs brought this consolidated action alleging, among other things, that the ITC lacked the authority to conduct a reconsideration. In Elkem IV, this court held that, while the ITC was within its authority to reconsider its original final determinations, "it failed to adhere to the procedures that it published [in the Notice] as those that would govern its Reconsideration Proceedings," and, thus, that the reconsideration proceedings were not in accordance with law. Elkem IV, 26 CIT at ___, 193 F.Supp.2d at 1325. Accordingly, the court remanded the matter and ordered the ITC to conduct a hearing

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in conformity with the regulations referenced in the Notice, and afford the parties "all of the other benefits of the `Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A through E (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts, A, C, and D (19 CFR part 207)[]' Notice, 64 Fed.Reg. at 28,212, including adequate notice, pre-hearing briefing and post-hearing briefing." Id. (citing 19 C.F.R. §§ 207.20(b), 207.22, 207.23(a), 207.24 (1999)). The court further ordered:

Finally, as to the ITC's contention that it need not examine whether the alleged price-fixing conspiracy actually distorted the domestic ferrosilicon prices at issue in the original investigations, should evidence with respect thereto be presented during the course of the further proceedings on remand, the ITC shall consider such evidence as it would consider any other evidence on the record.

Id. (citing 19 U.S.C. § 1677e (1988)). By its Remand Determination, the ITC affirmed its negative injury determination, which affirmance is now before the court.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

When reviewing a final determination in an antidumping or countervailing duty investigation, "[t]he court shall hold unlawful any determination, finding, or conclusion found . . . to be unsupported by substantial evidence on the record, or otherwise not in accordance with law. . . ." 19 U.S.C. § 1516a(b)(1)(B)(i); see also Bethlehem Steel Corp. v. United States, 26 CIT ___, ___, 223 F.Supp.2d 1372, 1375 (2002) ("The same standard of review applies to the review of a remand determination as to the review of the original determination." (citations omitted)). "As long as the agency's methodology and procedures are reasonable means of effectuating the statutory purpose, and there is substantial evidence in the record supporting the agency's conclusions, the court will not impose its own views as to the sufficiency of the agency's investigation or question the agency's methodology." ...

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6 practice notes
  • Shandong Huarong Machinery Co. v. U.S., Slip Op. 06-88.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 9 Junio 2006
    ...Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 843, 104 S.Ct. 2778, 81 L.Ed.2d 694 (1984)); see also Elkem Metals Co. v. United States, 27 CIT ___, ___, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1301 With respect to Ames' challenge to Commerce's liquidation instructions, this Court applies the standard of review set forth in 5 U.......
  • Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd. v. U.S., Slip Op. 07-12. Court No. 06-00078.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 24 Enero 2007
    ...Timken U.S. Corp. v. United States, 28 CIT ___, ___, 310 F.Supp.2d 1327, 1346 (2004); accord Elkem Metals Co., 27 CIT 838, 851, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1308 (2003) (holding that agency has "discretion in deciding whether or not to draw an adverse inference with respect to injury based upon a pa......
  • Gerber Food (Yunnan) Co., Ltd. v. U.S., Slip Op. 05-84.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 18 Julio 2005
    ...it to apply adverse inferences as it has done in the Final Results. Commerce cites Elkem Metals Co. v. United States, 27 CIT ___, ___, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1303 (2003), where the Court upheld the International Trade Commission's application of best information available to domestic producers......
  • Elkem Metals Co. v. U.S., No. Slip Op. 04-49.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 12 Mayo 2004
    ...court following remand to the United States International Trade Commission ("ITC"). In Elkem Metals Co. v. United States, 27 CIT ___, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296 (2003) ("Elkem V"), the court remanded the ITC's negative determination contained in Ferrosilicon from Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Shandong Huarong Machinery Co. v. U.S., Slip Op. 06-88.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 9 Junio 2006
    ...Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 843, 104 S.Ct. 2778, 81 L.Ed.2d 694 (1984)); see also Elkem Metals Co. v. United States, 27 CIT ___, ___, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1301 With respect to Ames' challenge to Commerce's liquidation instructions, this Court applies the standard of review set forth in 5 U.......
  • Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd. v. U.S., Slip Op. 07-12. Court No. 06-00078.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 24 Enero 2007
    ...Timken U.S. Corp. v. United States, 28 CIT ___, ___, 310 F.Supp.2d 1327, 1346 (2004); accord Elkem Metals Co., 27 CIT 838, 851, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1308 (2003) (holding that agency has "discretion in deciding whether or not to draw an adverse inference with respect to injury based upon a pa......
  • Gerber Food (Yunnan) Co., Ltd. v. U.S., Slip Op. 05-84.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 18 Julio 2005
    ...it to apply adverse inferences as it has done in the Final Results. Commerce cites Elkem Metals Co. v. United States, 27 CIT ___, ___, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1303 (2003), where the Court upheld the International Trade Commission's application of best information available to domestic producers......
  • Elkem Metals Co. v. U.S., No. Slip Op. 04-49.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 12 Mayo 2004
    ...court following remand to the United States International Trade Commission ("ITC"). In Elkem Metals Co. v. United States, 27 CIT ___, 276 F.Supp.2d 1296 (2003) ("Elkem V"), the court remanded the ITC's negative determination contained in Ferrosilicon from Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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