Showing posts from May, 2012

Mailing, Notice, and the TAA

Trade Adjustment Assistance is the too often overlooked part of the subject matter jurisdiction of the Court of International Trade. TAA is the federal program that provides benefits to workers and others who are separated from employment or otherwise injured as a result of international trade. The usual case has to do with factory workers who lose their jobs when their employer outsources production to a lower cost country. There are also TAA programs for agricultural producers including farmers and fishermen. [Side note: is there a gender neutral version of fishermen? "Fisher" seems stylistically inadequate.] Steve M. Carl v. United States Secretary of Agriculture is an interesting TAA case relating to the Farmers Program. The only real issue in the case is when the plaintiff was required to file his claim in the Court of International Trade. The relevant statute, 19 U.S.C. § 2395, requires that someone denied TAA benefits commence an action in the CIT "within 60 da

Is Being A "Friend of the Court" Intervening?

There is a simple answer to the title question: No. Being amicus curiae , or a "friend of the court," gives someone who is not a party to the case the ability to file a brief on some part of the controversy. This is often done in appellate cases and, in particular, in cases that have important policy considerations. It is less common in trial courts. The court has the discretion to permit someone to file as an amicus curiae . In contrast, someone with a demonstrable interest in the subject matter of a case can sometimes intervene on behalf of one side or the other. Intervenors become parties to the case, essentially additional plaintiffs or defendants. We see intervenors often in trade cases where either the foreign producers or domestic industry might intervene as plaintiffs or defendants to support the government decision, for example. Corning Gilbert, Inc. v. United States  poses an interesting question with respect to the status of amicus curiae in denied protest cas

CBP and Homeopathy

Here's something you may not know about me: I am an annoying science guy. That is not to say that I have any credentials or even skills in the hard sciences. Rather, it means I firmly believe in the sciences and the critical role of science in daily life and important policy decisions. Based on the evidence I see in the consensus of trained professionals, I accept the premise that vaccines are a boon to civilization, that humans are at least partially responsible for global warming, and that humans evolved from other primates over millions of years. I reject the premise that space aliens helped build ancient cultures, that $2 rubber bracelets improve athletic performance, and the anyone has psychic abilities. Bigfoot? Maybe, but only because it does not violate any established laws of nature for there to be a large undiscovered hominid loping around the wilderness. But, I won't really accept it until I see one on the front page of a paper that is not sold in the grocery store c

Some News to Use

Colombia FTA Rules of Origin Speaking of Free Trade Agreements, the International Trade Commission has published the modification to the HTSUS for the Colombia Agreement. Most relevant for many of you will be the rule of origin.  See here . Argentina May Lose GSP It looks like Argentina will lose its status as a Beneficiary Developing Country for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences. This is the result of a March 26, 2012 Presidential Proclamation and a finding by the President that Argentina has failed to act in good faith with respect to the enforcement of two arbitral awards against it. These award are based on the bilateral investment treaty between the U.S. and Argentina and are in excess of $300 million. The order becomes effective for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after May 28. Let's hope this is a game of chicken and that Argentina will blink soon. New Sanctions on Yemen On May 16, the President signed an Executive Order authoriz

Clear the Deckers

Sometimes, the process of tariff classification can force lawyers and judges down a rabbit hole of grammar and legal analysis. For me,  Deckers Outdoor Corp. v. United States  is one of those cases. The only real issue in this case is the legal question of whether the tariff term "footwear of the slip-on type, that is held to the foot without the use of laces or buckles or other fasteners" includes UGG Classic Crochet boots. Here is an image for reference.  Since this image is not from the official UGG web site, I can't vouch for it: The question presented is whether U.S. Customs and Border Protection correctly treated this boot as a slip-on. According to the plaintiff, the term "slip-on" does not include boots (i.e., footwear that extends above the ankle). Rather, plaintiff asserted that a "slip-on" is a category of shoes that is exclusive of boots and, more specifically, exclusive of boots that must be pulled on manually. As I understand this,