Washington, D.C. partner Doug Heffner was quoted in an article titled, “Fed. Circ. Flip Could Further Trim Voluntary CVD Respondents” in Law360.

The Federal Circuit's ruling that the U.S. Department of Commerce must use the countervailing duty rates assigned to companies volunteering for an administrative review when it calculates the all-others rate for non-reviewed companies may prod the agency to scale back its already slim acceptance of voluntary respondents, experts say.

A divided panel on Tuesday faulted a long-standing Commerce regulation used for tallying the so-called all-others rate for companies not explicitly named in an investigation that carved out a voluntary rate — a generally lower figure that could drive down the all-others margin. The decision wiped out a hefty CVD that had been applied to imports of Chinese aluminum extrusions.

But respondent-side attorneys observing the case noted that instances of Commerce accepting companies' requests have become exceedingly rare and predicted that the Federal Circuit's opinion may only serve to reinforce that trend.

Doug, who works primarily with respondents, called the Federal Circuit's decision a “disincentive” for the department to cast a wide net when mulling whether to pick up voluntary parties.

“I think this is going to reduce the likelihood that they are going to do voluntary respondents going forward. ... They know now that if this ruling stands, the all-other rate is going to include the voluntary respondents and that most likely the voluntary [rates] are going to be lower because they requested them,” Doug said.

To read the entire article in Law360, click here.