The Office of the Chief Counsel for Import Administration provides legal support to the International Trade Administration, specifically the Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, in connection with the administration of the laws regulating unfairly-traded imports into the United States, primarily the antidumping law (which deals with exports to the United States priced below their price in the home market or below their cost of production) and the countervailing duty law (which deals with exports to the United States from foreign industries that receive government subsidies). The office is headed by the Chief Counsel, who is assisted by the Deputy Chief Counsel and Associate Chief Counsel. There are 6 senior counsels, 22 staff attorneys, one paralegal, two administrative assistants, and frequently one or more law clerks.
The office's work may be divided into three general areas: administrative advice; litigation; and trade agreements.
The office concurs in all substantial administrative determinations under the antidumping and countervailing duty laws. This involves working closely with the Import Administration as administrative proceedings progress in order to ensure that the ultimate decisions are defensible under U.S. law and our international obligations, consistent with prior practice, and do not negatively impact related trade negotiations.
The office plays a critical role in defending antidumping and countervailing duty determinations before both U.S. courts and international panels. Most frequently, the office works with the Department of Justice to defend actions in the U.S. Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The office also works with the United States Trade Representative to defend antidumping and countervailing duty determinations against challenges before dispute settlement panels in the World Trade Organization. Finally, the office has sole litigating authority to defend antidumping and countervailing duty determinations before bi-national panels under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The office works closely with the Import Administration in the negotiation and implementation of a broad range of multilateral and bilateral agreements relating to government subsidization and private unfair pricing practices. The more general of these agreements include the WTO Antidumping Agreement and the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, NAFTA, and free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In addition, a variety of bilateral agreements have arisen from specific antidumping and countervailing duty cases. These have included agreements on uranium from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, steel from Russia, Ukraine, and China, semiconductors from Japan and Korea, lumber from Canada and Honey from the PRC.
In addition to these areas, the office also provides legal support in connection with proposed legislation or regulations affecting any of the statutes overseen by the Import Administration; the implementation and interpretation of textile agreements overseen by OTEXA; and in connection with administration of the Foreign-Trade Zones program, the Florence Agreement relating to duty free entry of scientific instruments, and the Insular Possessions watch program.
The office has defended a number of high profile cases in recent years. In 2008 and 2009, the office defended a determination by Import Administration concerning the importation of uranium from France before the United States Supreme Court. In United States v. Eurodif, 129 S. Ct. 878 (2009) , the Court issued a unanimous decision upholding Import Administration’s decision. Additionally, the office is currently defending the simultaneous application of anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws to imports from the People’s Republic of China before both U.S. courts and the World Trade Organization.