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Home Meridian International, Inc. v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

December 1, 2014

HOME MERIDIAN INTERNATIONAL, INC., doing business as Samuel Lawrence Furniture Co., and Pulaski Furniture Company, GREAT RICH (HK) ENTERPRISES CO., LTD., AND DONGGUAN LIAOBUSHANGDUN HUADA FURNITURE FACTORY, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
UNITED STATES, Defendant, AND DALIAN HUAFENG FURNITURE GROUP CO., LTD., AND NANHAI BAIYI WOODWORK CO., LTD., Plaintiffs, AND AMERICAN FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS COMMITTEE FOR LEGAL TRADE, AND VAUGHAN-BASSETT FURNITURE COMPANY, INC., Defendants-Appellants

Page 1290

Appeals from the United States Court of International Trade in Nos. 1:11-cv-00325-JAR, 1:11-cv-0326-JAR, 1:11-00356-JAR, 1:11-cv-00360-JAR, and 1:11-cv-00365-JAR, Judge Jane A. Restani.

JEFFREY S. GRIMSON, Mowry & Grimson, PLLC, of Washington, DC, argued for plaintiffs-appellees. With him on the brief were KRISTIN H. MOWRY, JILL A. CRAMER, SARAH M. WYSS, and DANIEL R. WILSON. Of counsel was REBECCA M. JANZ.

J. MICHAEL TAYLOR, King & Spalding LLP, of Washington, DC, argued for defendants-appellants. With him on the brief were JOSEPH W. DORN and MARK T. WASDEN. Of counsel was DANIEL SCHNEIDERMAN.

Before O'MALLEY, TARANTO, and CHEN, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1291

O'Malley, Circuit Judge.

American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal Trade and Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company, Inc. (together, " AFMC" ) appeal from a U.S. Court of International Trade judgment sustaining, after two previous remands, the U.S. Department of Commerce's valuation of inputs for wooden bedroom furniture imported from the People's Republic of China. Because substantial evidence supported Commerce's prior valuation, we reverse.

Background

In 2005, Commerce published an antidumping duty order on wooden bedroom furniture from the People's Republic of China. In 2010, AFMC requested an administrative review of certain companies exporting such furniture to the United States between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009 (" Period of Review" ). After Commerce selected Dalian Huafeng Furniture Group Co., Ltd. (" Huafeng" ) as the mandatory respondent, Huafeng provided Commerce with data related to its 2008 purchases of the following wood inputs from market economy suppliers relevant to the subject merchandise (" market economy purchases" ): pine, poplar, birch, and elm lumber, as well as oak veneer and plywood.

I. Final Results

In 2011, Commerce assigned Huafeng a dumping margin of 41.75% using 2009 import data from the Phillippines (" surrogate values" ), a market economy, to value the relevant wood inputs (" Final Results" ). Commerce explained that the surrogate values represented the " best available information" under 19 U.S.C. § 1677b(c)(1) (2012) because they were contemporaneous with the Period of Review, and the market economy purchases identified by Huafeng were not.

Commerce found that 19 C.F.R. § 351.408(c)(1) (2014) and the Antidumping Methodologies: Market Economy Inputs, Expected Non-Market Economy Wages, Duty Drawback; and Request for Comments, 71 Fed. Reg. 61716, 61717-18 (Oct. 19, 2006), do not mandate that Commerce only use market economy purchases when valuing inputs, as importer Home Meridian International, Inc., Great Rich (HK) Enterprises Co., Ltd., Dongguan Liaobushangdun Huada Furniture Factory (collectively, " Home Meridian" ), and Huafeng suggested. Commerce explained that, although § 351.408(c)(1) provides that Commerce " normally will use the price paid to the market economy supplier" when such data is available, the " word 'normally' provides [Commerce] with the discretion to not use those prices if Commerce believes they do not constitute the best available information for valuing an input." Joint Appendix (" J.A." ) 1000910-11. Commerce clarified that, although the Antidumping Methodologies create a rebuttable presumption in favor of using market economy purchases, the presumption only applies when a specified volume of those purchases are made during the period of review. Because Huafeng made no such purchases during the Period of Review, Commerce concluded that the presumption did not apply.

The Court of International Trade remanded the matter to Commerce, finding that Commerce categorically excluded the market economy purchases on the basis of contemporaneity, and failed to make any factual determination on their ...


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