Rulings, remedies and court proceedings for customs and trade professionals

Commerce Lowers AD Rate for Separate Rate Cos. After Weight Averaging AFA, 0% Rates

The Commerce Department on June 7 lowered the dumping margin for nine separate rate respondents in the 2016-17 review of the antidumping duty order on multilayered wood flooring from China, from 42.57% to 31.63%, after revising aspects of its dumping analysis (Fusong Jinlong Wooden Group Co. v. United States, CIT # 19-00144).

The Court of International Trade in March sent back the AD review based on Commerce's departure from the expected method in calculating the separate rate. In the review, the two mandatory respondents received, respectively, an adverse facts available rate and a zero percent dumping margin. To get the separate rate, the agency took a simple average of the two margins and got a 42.57% rate.

While Commerce said the simple average amounted to an exercise of the expected method, the trade court disagreed, noting that the expected method would be a weighted average of the zero and AFA rates (see 2404020027). The court added that departure from the expected method wasn't permissible, since the agency can only drop this methodology when use of the expected method isn't feasible or would lead to an average that isn't reflective of the non-individually examined separate rate companies' potential dumping margins.

To buck the expected method, Commerce would have had to show that the volume data for respondent Sino-Maple (Jiangsu) Co. was incomplete, which it didn't do. On remand, Commerce said it agreed with the trade court that Sino-Maple's quantity and value information is on the record. As a result, it used this data to "calculate the weighted-average rate" in line with the agency's practice.

The result of the weighted average is a 31.63% dumping margin for the "non-individually examined companies eligible for a separate rate."