Domestic Activated Carbon Producers File Lawsuit Challenging Final Results of Commerce Department's First Administrative Review
PITTSBURGH, PA – 12/09/2009
Calgon Carbon Corporation and Norit Americas Inc. today commenced an action before the U.S. Court of International Trade challenging the antidumping duty margins calculated by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) in the first administrative review of the antidumping duty order on steam activated carbon from the People’s Republic of China. Domestic producers Calgon and Norit are pursuing this litigation based on their belief that the margins calculated by the DOC are inappropriately low due to legal and factual errors contained in the DOC’s final results.
Calgon and Norit’s Complaint challenging the final results of the DOC’s first administrative review contains four counts. The first count challenges the DOC’s failure to rely on so-called “combination rates” that establish a specific duty margin for unique exporter/producer combinations. The DOC established combination rates for certain exporters and producers in issuing the antidumping duty order at the conclusion of its less than fair value investigation in April 2007. Without providing any explanation, however, the DOC declined to continue its use of combination rates in the final results of the first administrative review, where the Department simply assigned rates to certain Chinese exporters. If Calgon and Norit are successful, and the DOC applies combination rates in the first administrative review in the manner it did in issuing the antidumping duty order, product that was exported to the United States by an entity with a company-specific rate, but which was not produced by an entity reviewed by the DOC in the first review period, could be subject to antidumping duties at the China-wide rate of 228.11 percent ad valorem. The second, third and fourth counts of Calgon and Norit’s Complaint challenge the DOC’s reliance on certain information to value coal consumed to generate energy and steam, hydrochloric acid, and the financial ratios for certain Chinese respondents’ overhead, selling, general and administrative expenses, and profit. If Calgon and Norit are successful on these claims, the calculated dumping margins for the mandatory and separate rate respondents will increase relative to the DOC’s final results.
David A. Hartquist, lead counsel to Calgon and Norit said, “We are pursuing this challenge to ensure that appropriate antidumping duties are assessed on imports subject to the first administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain activated carbon from the People’s Republic of China. The antidumping duty order has had a positive impact in returning fair pricing to the U.S. activated carbon market, and we are concerned that several errors in the Commerce Department’s analysis resulted in an understatement of the collectable duties. We will vigorously pursue this appeal to ensure that the antidumping duty order continues to prevent unfairly traded imports of steam activated carbon from China from undermining our domestic market.”
The final results announced by the DOC on November 4, 2009, establish the amount of antidumping duties to be assessed on imports of certain activated carbon from China that entered the United States between October 11, 2006 and March 31, 2008, and also establish unique cash deposit rates going forward for certain Chinese exporters that were analyzed by the DOC. The Commerce Department is currently conducting the second administrative review of the antidumping duty order on steam activated carbon from China, which covers imports that entered the United States between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009.
In order to ensure that certain entries at issue in the first review are assessed with appropriate antidumping duties, Calgon and Norit are requesting that the U.S. Court of International Trade issue a preliminary injunction. That injunction, if granted by the court, will prevent U.S. Customs and Border Protection from liquidating certain entries at issue in the first review until the litigation is finally concluded.
The petitioners in this case are Calgon Carbon Corporation and Norit Americas Inc. They are represented in this investigation by David A. Hartquist, head of the International Trade and Customs Practice at Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP.