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Nail Exporter Bids CAFC to Dismiss Interlocutory Appeal of CIT Injunction on AD Cash Deposits

Exporter Oman Fasteners asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Jan. 29 to dismiss petitioner Mid Continent Steel & Wire's appeal of a Court of International Trade decision imposing an injunction on the Commerce Department's antidumping duty cash deposits on Oman Fasteners' steel nail imports. The exporter said the injunction is no longer active because the Commerce Department completed the next administrative review of the AD order, so there is no live controvery in the case (Oman Fasteners v. United States, Fed. Cir. # 23-1661).

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Oman Fasteners initially filed suit to contest a 154.33% AD cash deposit rate set during the sixth administrative review of the AD on steel nails from Oman, which was imposed due to a 16-minutes-late submission in the review. The trade court dubbed the high rate to be the "very definition of abuse of discretion," combining a motion for a preliminary injunction and motion for judgment in the case (see 2302280040). Mid Continent appealed the decision, while the U.S. didn't.

The petitioner unsuccessfully sought expedited briefing at the Federal Circuit since the appeal would become moot when Commerce finished its next review of Oman Fasteners' imports. At this point, the next review would "supersede" the injunction and set a new AD cash deposit rate for the exporter. In December 2023, Commerce completed the next review and Oman Fasteners received a zero percent cash deposit mark as opposed to the prevous 1.65% rate under injunction from the trade court.

The relief sought by Mid Continent in this case "would have no effect on Oman Fasteners’ cash deposit rate and thus could not conceivably affect Mid Continent’s market position," the exporter said. While the petitioner could say that even though the injunction is moot, it can receive retroactive relief via a "retroactive collection of cash deposits" at the 154.33% rate, this argument "would be frivolous," the brief said. The petitioner "forfeited such relief by omitting any substantive discussion of it from its brief" and the petitioner "failed to cite any authority" that would allow this court to impose such a penalty, Oman Fasteners said.

This type of relief "would be nonsensical at this point because cash deposits are temporary," the company said.

Mid Continent also filed its interlocutory appeal to contest Judge Miller Baker's decision to merge the injunction and summary judgment motions. "That was never proper as an interlocutory appeal because the consolidation decision was a non-final procedural ruling that was appealable, if at all, only after the Trade Court entered a final judgment," Oman Fasteners argued. Even if this decision was appealable, it could only have been reviewed "so far as it affected the injunction."