February 17, 2017

Customs and International Trade Team Secures Unanimous ITC Decision in Favor of Client Auburn Manufacturing

Drinker Biddle Washington, D.C. attorneys Doug Heffner and Richard Ferrin, and Senior International Trade Analyst Rick Johnson, successfully persuaded the International Trade Commission (ITC) to vote unanimously in favor of client Auburn Manufacturing, Inc., resulting in five years of significant duties on Chinese importers and helping the company to gain back significant market share.

The vote was in response to the team’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and ITC alleging that Chinese imports of silica fabric were materially injuring the U.S. industry.

The DOC handed down an affirmative preliminary anti-dumping determination in August 2016, which found that Chinese exporters were selling competing goods in the U.S. at less than fair value. The anti-dumping duties were retroactively dated back to early June to offset the surge in those imports. Additionally, the DOC imposed countervailing duties to offset unfair subsidies provided by the Chinese government. The total combined antidumping and countervailing duties ranged from approximately 200 percent to 300 percent, depending on the Chinese company.

As a result of the final ITC ruling, the DOC’s duties will remain in effect for at least five years. This victory is a powerful remedy for other U.S. producers that are being adversely impacted by imports.

Statement from Kathi Leonard, President/CEO, Auburn Manufacturing:

“The AD/CVD process is very complicated and requires a lot of legal and economic work. Since my first meeting with Doug Heffner, I’ve never doubted that we made the right choice of lawyers. Small businesses like mine often feel intimidated by large law firms, but Doug’s team – including Richard Ferrin and Rick Johnson – demonstrated not only competence but also compassion and understanding of the unique situation a small company faces in attempting a project of this magnitude. Before advising us to proceed, they conducted a comprehensive feasibility study. Through this, they came to know our business and us. After walking our management team through the process, they presented us with a proposal and budget to take us through the entire suit. We have worked together for the past 18 months without a misstep, thanks to their attention to detail and empathy for our situation. I was asked more than once by concerned individuals, ‘How can you afford to do this?’ My answer was, ‘I can’t afford NOT to do this!’

"DBR’s approach made it possible. Their expertise made it successful.”

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