On July 14, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) issued a request for a range of additional factual information in connection with the agency’s ongoing circumvention inquiries into solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam that employ inputs from mainland China. The deadline to respond is July 21st.
Alexander Chinoy assists clients with the resolution of international intellectual property and trade disputes, appearing before a range of U.S. courts and agencies. He is an accomplished trade litigator who has been involved in more than 30 Section 337 unfair import investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), as well as a range of enforcement and regulatory matters involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Alex has been recognized as a leading Section 337 litigator by Chambers USA, with sources noting he is "impressive beyond his years of practice."
Alex is a past President of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association, the leading bar association for Section 337 practitioners. He has hands-on experience with every phase of Section 337 investigations. He has participated in a dozen hearings at the ITC ranging from trials on violation to enforcement hearings and temporary relief proceedings. His experience spans every phase of 337 litigation, from pre-complaint counseling through appeal of final ITC determinations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), as well as CBP enforcement of ITC exclusion orders.
Alex has additional administrative experience before CBP, including classification and compliance matters, as well as before the U.S. Department of Commerce. His broader litigation experience includes district court intellectual property cases, and a range of trade disputes before the U.S. Court of International Trade. He has successfully argued appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the CAFC. Alex has also counseled foreign governments and multinational companies on the use of trade policy tools to resolve international IPR issues and other business disputes, as well as regarding IPR border measures and enforcement remedies outside the United States.
On July 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) issued proposed rules implementing President Biden’s emergency declaration to provide temporary tariff relief on certain imports of solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Commerce has provided the public with a 30-day period to comment on the proposed rules.
If enacted in their current form, the proposed rules would provide meaningful relief and increased tariff certainty to U.S. importers of solar cells and modules from these four Southeast Asian countries. Specifically, under the proposed rules, Commerce will not impose tariffs during the emergency period established by President Biden on imports of solar cells and modules from those countries even if the products are found to be circumventing an existing antidumping (“AD”) or countervailing duty (“CVD”) order. The proposed rules do not affect tariffs on imports that are already within the scope of existing AD/CVD orders on solar cells and modules from mainland China or Taiwan, including in-scope modules that incorporate cells from mainland China or Taiwan but are assembled in a different country.
While the proposed rules would represent a positive development for foreign manufacturers, U.S. importers, and U.S. consumers, including the U.S. solar project development industry, if promulgated in their current form, changes to the rules are possible. It is therefore important for parties with a stake in Commerce’s pending circumvention inquiries to file comments by the August 1, 2022 deadline. …
Presidential Action Triggered by Crisis in the U.S. Solar Industry
In recent months, the U.S. solar industry has been in the midst of an existential crisis, triggered by the threatened imposition of retroactive and future tariffs on a significant portion of U.S. imports. That crisis began on April 1, 2022, when the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) initiated an inquiry to determine whether solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are circumventing antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) orders on solar cells from China. Solar cells from these countries generally accounted for approximately 80% of U.S. solar module imports in 2020. If Commerce finds circumvention, solar cells and modules from the four target countries could not only be subject to combined AD/CVD tariffs approaching 250%, but Commerce’s regulations also allow for the agency to apply these tariffs retroactively to merchandise entering on or after April 1, 2022 (and potentially as far back as November 4, 2021). This threat of AD/CVD tariffs triggered a steep decrease in imports of solar cells and modules from Southeast Asia, and caused parts of the U.S. solar industry to come to a stand-still, furthering domestic reliance on coal. Given this paralysis in the solar industry, lawmakers and others urged the President to provide relief from potential AD/CVD tariffs.…