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Commerce Needed More Than 1 Respondent for AD Review, Importer Argues

The Commerce Department should have at least allowed Japanese steel exporter Tokyo Steel to participate in an antidumping review on hot-rolled steel flat products from Japan as a voluntary respondent, importer Optima Steel International said in a May complaint at the Court of International Trade, arguing Commerce improperly chose only one respondent in the review (Optima Steel International v. U.S., CIT # 23-00108).

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Commerce had cited a "large number of exporters" in deciding to deny Tokyo Steel a chance to participate, even though there were only two exporters -- Tokyo Steel and Nippon Steel -- during the review period, Optima said. The agency went with Nippon steel as its mandatory respondent, seeing that it shipped the "majority" of hot-roled steel.

Nippon Steel went on to receive a 7.72% AD rate, and Tokyo Steel was assigned the same rate because it was considered a non-selected company. Optima argued that Commerce unlawfully limited the number of examined respondents in the review to one. The department cited only its "current resource constraints" as to why it declined to examine Tokyo Steel as a voluntary respondent, which Optima said is a departure from past practice and a single selection was "inconsistent with the Department's statutory obligations."

Tokyo Steel filed a request for reconsideration of Commerce’s respondent selection, and in the alternative, a request for voluntary respondent treatment. Commerce rejected the requests despite the fact that the company complied with the regulatory requirements for such treatment and had been chosen as a mandatory respondent in the original investigation, Optima said.