Thursday, March 13, 2008

On Voice Mail, Massagers, and Mootness

One thing I'll say for Customs & Border Protection is that the people making up the agency tend to be pretty responsive to voice mail. That makes me wonder why they need a $20 million overhaul of their voice mail system.

Of course, voice mail is important and should be kept up to modern standards. Foot massagers, on the other hand, are a luxury item. In the case of one foot massager stopped by CBP in Memphis, a $45,000 luxury. According to this story, someone tucked that much cash inside a Foot Pleaser Ultra Deep Kneading Foot Massager. Customs found it when they x-rayed the cargo.

On to something of more moment: The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded Gerdau Ameristeel to the Court of International Trade. Normally, I don't cover trade cases here. But, it has been quiet and this is interesting.

Gerdau was originally dismissed from the CIT because liquidation of the entries had rendered the appeal from the sixth antidumping review moot. But, on appeal, Gerdau (a domestic producer) had a cool argument based on unique facts. Gerdau noted that the fifth review produced a de minimis margin, as did the sixth review, which it sought to challenge. Gerdau wants to challenge the sixth review because if the seventh review comes up de minimis, the three-in-a-row de minimis margins might result in a revocation of the order. Importantly, Gerdau is not challenging the results as applied to particular entries. Thus, liquidation of the entries is not that important and does not moot the case. Rather, because the outcome will have an impact on the future, the Federal Circuit sent it back to the CIT for a review of the results in the sixth review.

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