LawFlash

Court Strikes Down Countervailing Duties on Imports From China

January 12, 2012

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled on Dec. 19, 2011, that the US Countervailing Duty law (CVD Law) cannot be applied against non-market economy countries and, in the particular case in issue, against China.

Imports from China have been subjected to numerous U.S. countervailing duty and antidumping duty complaints and the resulting orders have often imposed substantial and prohibitive countervailing and antidumping duties on imports into the U.S. of affected Chinese origin products.

The CVD Law is designed to apply a duty (countervailing duty) to offset government subsidies affecting products exported to the U.S. Until 2007, the U.S. Commerce Department, which administers the CVD Law, consistently held that the CVD Law did not apply to imports from non-market economy countries, such as China. In 2007, Commerce reversed its policy and began imposing countervailing duties against imports from China. The CAFC decision concludes that the 2007 change in policy was not permissible under the statute, either based on legislative history, or based on consistent prior administrative interpretations of the CVD Law.

The antidumping law is designed to apply a duty (antidumping duty) to offset prices for imported products that are deemed to be lower than a benchmark, which is theoretically supposed to represent a measurement of the price for such products in the exporter’s home market. Because China is not deemed to be a market economy country, home market prices in China are deemed an unreliable measure of home market pricing for purposes of the antidumping law. Accordingly, “surrogate” home market prices derived from other market economies are used by the Department of Commerce to determine whether or not dumping is occurring and, if it is, the level of duties that should be assessed to offset the dumping. In assessing antidumping duties against products from China, the U.S. Commerce Department applies an offset for the amount of countervailing duties assessed against the same products to the extent that the countervailing duties are based on export subsidies that apply to the subject products. No offset is applied for countervailing duties based on domestic subsidies that also apply to such products because the substitute surrogates used by the Department of Commerce for the home market prices should, in theory, not include any domestic subsidies.

The CAFC’s decision seems to leave open the possibility that the CVD Law could be applied to Chinese products from a particular industry in China if that industry is found to be a “market oriented industry”; but the Court notes that Commerce has not invoked this exception to the non-market economy rules.

The Court’s decision does not preclude the possibility of Congressional legislation to permit countervailing duties on products imported from non-market economies. However, any such legislation would, presumably, have to be consistent with U.S. obligations under the WTO rules.

It may be interesting to note that the countervailing duty concept has been the primary approach for a number of proposed bills in Congress that would challenge China’s currency policies.

The CAFC’s decision can be appealed either by a petition for reconsideration “en banc” to the CAFCor by an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. If the decision is not overturned on appeal, parties who have imported products from China covered by outstanding countervailing duty orders may be entitled to claim refunds for countervailing duties paid. As claims for refunds may have to be filed within a short time period, any importers who have paid countervailing duties on imports from China or who may face assessments for such duties would be well advised to determine quickly whether they wish to file claims for refunds.

Countervailing Duty Orders against Chinese products as of Dec. 20, 2011, cover the following products:

Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube
Laminated Woven Sacks
Sodium Nitrite
New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires
Raw Flexible Magnets
Lightweight Thermal Paper
Circular Welded Carbon Quality Steel Line Pipe
Circular Welded Austenitic Stainless Pressure Pipe
Citric Acid and Certain Citric Salts
Tow Behind Lawn Groomer
Kitchen Appliance Shelving and Racks
Oil Country Tubular Goods
Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand
Potassium Phosphate Salts
Steel Grating
Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge
Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks
Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe
Coated Paper
Drill Pipe and Drill Collars
Aluminum Extrusions
Multilayered Wood Flooring

Countervailing Duty Cases pending against Chinese products as of Dec. 20, 2011 cover the following products:

CSPV Cells and Modules
Certain Steel Wheels
Galvanized Steel Wire

 

For additional information concerning this alert, please contact the following lawyers:

Brian D. Beglin, Partner, Corporate Practice Group, Beijing
brian.beglin@bingham.com, +86.10.6535.2808 

Xiaowei Ye, Partner, Financial Services Area, Beijing
xiaowei.ye@bingham.com, +86.10.6535.2818

Roger P. Joseph, Practice Group Leader, Investment Management Group; Co-chair, Financial Services Area
roger.joseph@bingham.com, 617.951.8247

Edwin E. Smith, Partner, Financial Restructuring Group; Co-chair, Financial Services Area
edwin.smith@bingham.com, 617.951.8615

Tim Burke, Practice Group Leader, Broker-Dealer Group; Co-chair, Financial Services Area
timothy.burke@bingham.com, 617.951.8620

 

 

美国法院取消对从中国的进口征收反补贴税

美国联邦巡回上诉法院(The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)2011年12月19日裁决美国反补贴税法不适用于非市场经济国家,在这一特定案件下不适用于中国。1

从中国的进口已无数次被诉以征收反补贴税和反倾销税,结果通常是导致原产于中国、进口到美国的受影响的产品被征收大量的、禁止性的反补贴和反倾销税。

美国反补贴税法旨在征收税收(反补贴税)以抵消进口国政府对出口到美国的产品的补贴。2007年之前,实施反补贴税法的美国商务部始终认为,反补贴税法不适用于从非市场经济国家--比如中国--的进口。2007年,商务部改变了政策,开始对从中国的进口征收反补贴税。美国联邦巡回上诉法院的这个判决判定,无论是基于立法历史还是基于之前对反补贴税法一贯的行政解释,2007年政策的改变,根据法律是不允许的。

反倾销法旨在征收税收(反倾销税)来抵消进口产品价格被视为低于基准价格的部分,基准价格理论上由出口商国内市场的价格来衡量。由于中国不被认为是一个市场经济国家,中国国内市场价格不被认为可以用来衡量反倾销法下的国内市场价格。相应的,商务部将其他市场经济的价格作为“替代”国内市场价格,以决定是否存在倾销,以及如果倾销存在的话应征收多少税收来抵消倾销。在衡量对从中国进口的产品征收反倾销税时,美国商务部还对该产品征收反补贴税,用以抵消对该产品的出口补贴。因为美国商务部使用的“替代”国内市场价格理论上不包括任何国内补贴,对该产品的国内补贴也不应被征收反补贴税。

如果中国某个行业被认为是“市场导向行业”,美国联邦巡回上诉法院的判决看起来似乎允许反补贴税法适用于从中国进口的该行业的产品。但是,法院指出,商务部从来没有援引这一例外适用到非市场经济规则。

法院这一判决不排除议会今后立法允许对从非市场经济进口的产品征收反补贴税。但是,任何此类立法,都必须要跟世界贸易组织(WTO)规则下的美国义务相一致。

有意思的是,美国议会许多提起的法案主要使用反补贴税这一概念来挑战中国的货币政策。

联邦巡回上诉法院这一判决可以通过向该联邦巡回上诉法院申请 “全体法官(en banc)”复议2 的方式或者通过向美国最高法院上诉的方式来提起上诉。如果该判决在上诉中没被推翻,从中国进口产品、受到反补贴税法令制裁的当事人,可能有权要求返还已支付的反补贴税。因为退款索赔可能需要在短时间内提起,任何已支付从中国进口的反补贴税或者面临对该税收的评估的进口商,应该得到好的建议,迅速确定他们是否希望提起退款索赔。

截至2011年12月20日,美国反补贴税令涉及以下中国产品:

薄壁矩形钢管(Light-walled rectangular pipe and tube)                      
复合编织袋 (Laminated woven sacks)                 
亚硝酸钠(Sodium Nitrite)               
非公路用轮胎(New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires)                
未加工橡胶磁铁(Raw flexible magnets)                
低克重热敏纸(Lightweight thermal paper)                
环形焊接碳钢管线管(Circular welded carbon quality steel line pipe)              
环形焊接压力管(Circular welded austenitic stainless pressure pipe)             
柠檬酸和柠檬酸盐(Citric acid and certain citric salts)                
后拖式草地维护设备(Tow Behind Lawn Groomer)                  
厨房用搁板和网架(Kitchen Appliance Shelving and Racks)               
油井管(Oil Country Tubular Goods)                 
预应力混凝土用钢绞线(Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand)                
磷酸盐(Potassium Phosphate Salts)                         
钢格栅板(Steel Grating)                    
窄幅织带(Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge)                
某些镁碳砖(Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks)                 
无缝管(Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe)              
铜版纸(Coated Paper)                        
钻管(Drill Pipe and Drill Collars)                               
铝挤压材(Aluminum Extrusions)                   
多层木地板(Multilayered Wood Flooring)

截至2011年12月20日,待审的反补贴案件涉及以下中国产品:

CSPV细胞和模块(CSPV Cells and Modules)                      
某些钢轮(Certain Steel Wheels)                
镀锌钢丝(Galvanized Steel Wire)

 

该文作者为Jerome P. AkmanBrian D. BeglinXiaowei Ye and Ruoke Liu。如有任何问题,请联系以下律师:

Jerome P. Akman, 合伙人,公司组,华盛顿
jerome.akman@bingham.com,+1.202.373.6827

Brian D. Beglin, 合伙人,公司组,北京
brian.beglin@bingham.com,+86.10.6535.2808

Xiaowei Ye,合伙人,金融服务领域,北京
xiaowei.ye@bingham.com,+86.10.6535.2818

Roger P. Joseph,投资管理组负责人,金融服务领域联席主席
roger.joseph@bingham.com,+1.617.951.8247

Edwin E. Smith,合伙人,金融重组组;金融服务领域联席主席
edwin.smith@bingham.com,+1.617.951.8615


1 The CAFC decision was rendered in the case of GPX INTERNATIONAL TIRE CORPORATION AND HEBEI STARBRIGHT TIRE CO., LTD., Plaintiffs-Appellees, and TIANJIN UNITED TIRE & RUBBER INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellant, and TITAN TIRE CORPORATION AND UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INTERNATIONAL AND SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO-CLC, Defendants-Appellants, and BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS, INC. AND BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS TIRE OPERATIONS, LLC, Defendants-Appellants, Case ##2011-1107, -1108, -1109.

2 The CAFC decision was made by a panel of three of the judges who serve on the CAFC. A petition for reconsideration “en banc” would request that the case be reconsidered by all of the judges who serve on the CAFC.

1 联邦巡回上诉法院的这一判决是在以下案件作出的:GPX国际轮胎公司和河北兴茂轮胎有限公司(原告、被上诉人)与天津国际联合轮胎橡胶公司(原告、被上诉人)诉美国政府(被告、上诉人)、TITAN轮胎公司和美国钢铁、造纸和林业、橡胶、制造业、能源、美国国际以及服务工作者国际联盟(TITAN TIRE CORPORATION AND UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INTERNATIONAL AND SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION),AFL-CIO-CLC(被告、上诉人)与普利司通美洲公司和普利司通美洲轮胎经营有限责任公司(BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS, INC. AND BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS TIRE OPERATIONS, LLC)(被告、上诉人),案件代码是2011-1107, -1108, -1109。

2 联邦巡回上诉法院这一判决是由该法院任职的三名法官组成的审判庭作出的。申请“全体法官(en banc)”复议要求该案件由该上诉法院任职的所有法官重新考虑。

This article was originally published by Bingham McCutchen LLP.