Appeals court upholds diamond sawblades ruling

In a significant victory for U.S. producers of diamond sawblades, an appeals court has upheld an anti-dumping ruling aimed at low-priced Chinese and Korean imports.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion on July 6, 2010, upholding the International Trade Commission's determination that the American diamond sawblades industry is threatened with material injury by reason of unfairly priced imports from China and Korea. The court's decision reaffirms the issuance of an antidumping order which imposes significant duties on all imports of Chinese and Korean diamond sawblades, segments, and cores entering the U.S. after Jan. 23, 2009.

"The CAFC's ruling should end what has been extremely lengthy and contentious litigation," said Daniel B. Pickard of Wiley Rein, counsel to the DSMC. "Imported sawblades will now definitively be subject to significant duties. These duties will force imported merchandise to compete on a level playing field with competitively priced U.S. merchandise. It's been a long battle, but in the end, U.S. producers will get the relief they justly deserve and which they are entitled to under the law."

The Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers Coalition (DSMC), an ad-hoc coalition of U.S. manufacturers, petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for relief from unfairly-traded imports. While Commerce found that imports were indeed being sold at less than fair value, the Commission determined that the resulting price decreases and significantly increased import volumes did not injure or threaten injury to the U.S. industry.

The DSMC challenged this determination before the U.S. Court of International Trade. Pursuant to the litigation, the ITC reconsidered its original determination, and found that subject imports threatened material injury to U.S. producers. The CIT affirmed this finding, and subsequently ordered Commerce to issue antidumping duty orders and to begin collecting duties on incoming entries of diamond sawblades. A group of importers and Korean producers appealed the CIT's decision last year.

The appeals court decision, affirming the CIT and the ITC, means that the antidumping order will remain in effect for 5 years, with possible renewals of the order thereafter. The current antidumping duty rates are as high as 16.88% for Korean imports, and 164.09% for Chinese imports. The domestic industry may request reviews of these rates on a yearly basis, and the rates can be adjusted upwards retroactively in order to compensate for any additional dumping.