Hitachi Metals, Ltd. v. United States Arcelormittal USA LLC, 020720 FEDFED, 2019-1289

Docket Nº:2019-1289
Opinion Judge:REYNA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Party Name:HITACHI METALS, LTD., HITACHI METALS AMERICA LLC, Plaintiffs-Appellants v. UNITED STATES, ARCELORMITTAL USA LLC, NUCOR CORPORATION, Defendants-Appellees DAIDO STEEL CO., LTD., Plaintiff
Attorney:Daniel Cannistra, Crowell & Moring, LLP, Washington, DC, argued for plaintiffs-appellants. Also represented by Robert L. LaFrankie, Pierce Lee. Brian Russell Soiset, Office of General Counsel, United States International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee United State...
Judge Panel:Before Moore, Reyna, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:February 07, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
 
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HITACHI METALS, LTD., HITACHI METALS AMERICA LLC, Plaintiffs-Appellants

DAIDO STEEL CO., LTD., Plaintiff

v.

UNITED STATES, ARCELORMITTAL USA LLC, NUCOR CORPORATION, Defendants-Appellees

No. 2019-1289

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

February 7, 2020

Appeal from the United States Court of International Trade in Nos. 1:17-cv-00140-MAB, 1:17-cv-00165-MAB, Judge Mark A. Barnett.

Daniel Cannistra, Crowell & Moring, LLP, Washington, DC, argued for plaintiffs-appellants. Also represented by Robert L. LaFrankie, Pierce Lee.

Brian Russell Soiset, Office of General Counsel, United States International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee United States. Also represented by Andrea C. Casson, Dominic L. Bianchi.

Brooke Michelle Ringel, Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP, Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellees Arcelormittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation. Defendant-appellee Arcelormittal USA LLC also represented by Kathleen Cannon, Robert Alan Luberda, Paul C. Rosenthal.

Alan H. Price, Wiley Rein, LLP, Washington, DC, for defendant-appellee Nucor Corporation. Also represented by Stephanie Manaker Bell, Christopher B. Weld.

Before Moore, Reyna, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.

REYNA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

In 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a final affirmative determination that a U.S. domestic industry was materially injured by virtue of imported steel goods sold at less than fair value. Hitachi appealed to the United States Court of International Trade, challenging the Commission's "domestic like product" determination. The Court of International Trade affirmed the Commission's domestic like product determination. Hitachi appeals that judgment. Because we conclude that the Commission's "domestic like product" determination is supported by substantial evidence and otherwise not contrary to law, we affirm.

Background

This case arises from an antidumping duty investigation on imports of carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate ("CTL plate").1 On April 8, 2016, three domestic producers of CTL plate ("petitioners") filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce ("Commerce") and the U.S. International Trade Commission ("Commission"), alleging that imports of CTL plate from twelve countries, including Japan, were sold in the United States at less than fair value, and that an industry in the United States was materially injured as a result. Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate, 81 Fed. Reg. 22116 (April 14, 2016) (Institution Decision). Both the Commission and Commerce initiated antidumping duty investigations. Id. Hitachi Metals, Ltd., and Hitachi Metals America, LLC ("Hitachi") joined the Commission investigation, identifying itself as "a Japanese producer . . . and U.S. importer of carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate." Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate, Inv. No. 701-560 USITC Pub. 590311 (Sept. 12, 2016).

I. "Domestic Like Product"

Commerce and the Commission play separate and distinct roles in the administration of antidumping duty investigations. 19 U.S.C. § 1673. Generally, Commerce investigates whether certain imported articles are sold in the United States at less than fair value, i.e., "dumped." Cleo Inc. v. United States, 501 F.3d 1291, 1294 (Fed. Cir. 2007). The Commission investigates whether a U.S. "domestic industry" is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of those imports. Id. at 1295.

Central to antidumping duty investigations, and central to this appeal, are Commerce's and the Commission's separate determinations as to the products relevant to their respective inquiries. Commerce identifies the scope of imported articles subject to the investigation, referred to as the "subject merchandise." Pesquera Mares Australes Ltda. v. United States, 266 F.3d 1372, 1374-75, 1375 n.2 (Fed. Cir. 2001); see 19 U.S.C. § 1677(25). The Commission, on the other hand, determines the "domestic like product." The "domestic like product" is a U.S. product "which is like, or . . . most similar in characteristics and uses" to the subject merchandise. Cleo Inc., 501 F.3d at 1295 (quoting 19 U.S.C. § 1677(10)). The Commission's definition of which domestic goods constitute "like products" determines the relevant domestic industry and, in turn, the scope of the Commission's injury analysis. Id.

By statute, the Commission's "domestic like product" analysis begins with a review of the "articles subject to investigation," i.e., the subject merchandise as determined by Commerce. 19 U.S.C. § 1677(10) (defining "domestic like product" as a "product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation" (emphasis added)). The Commission then conducts a six-factor...

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