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Indian Exporter Contests 'Bright Line' Rule on Untimely Submissions in CVD Suit

The Commerce Department "abused its discretion" by using a "bright-line rule to reject" Jindal Poly Films' Section III affiliation questionnaire in the 2021 countervailing duty administrative review on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet and strip from India, the exporter charged in a complaint filed at the Court of International Trade March 27 (Jindal Poly Films v. U.S., CIT # 24-00053).

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Jindal said the agency failed to evaluate the "specific factual circumstances of the late submission." Noting that Commerce "must weigh accuracy and fairness" interests against the interests of "finality and agency burden," the exporter said that the record shows that the accuracy and fairness interests "far outweighed any burden or the interests of finality in this case."

In the review, Commerce made the Section III affiliation submission due Dec. 26, 2022. On Dec. 31, Jindal requested a 15-day extension, saying it mistakenly thought the deadline was Jan. 18 because it hadn't been previously tapped as a mandatory respondent, it didn't have a lawyer or representative, and the person handling the CVD proceeding was "severely ill." The company submitted the affiliation questionnaire Jan. 7.

The agency denied the extension Jan. 27 and removed the affiliation submission from the record, ultimately levying a 116.96% adverse facts available CVD rate on the exporter.

In its complaint, Jindal said the use of a "bright line rule for untimely submissions" and decision "not to accept Jindal's affiliated companies' responses under these factual circumstances" amounted to an abuse of discretion. In addition, the company said Commerce used an "excessively high and erroneous final" CVD rate.