Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance v. United States
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
517 F.3d 1319 (2008)
In 1992, the United States (defendant), Canada (plaintiff), and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Section 102(c) of the United States’ NAFTA Implementation Act (NIA) provided that only the United States had a cause of action under NAFTA or “by virtue of Congressional approval.” Section 408 provided that amendments to antidumping statutes would not apply to goods from NAFTA signatories unless the amendments so stipulated. The NIA was passed in a congressional fast-track process. In 2000, Congress passed the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA), requiring antidumping duties to be paid to domestic producers affected by dumping. The CDSOA did not stipulate that it applied to Canada and Mexico. Nine countries, including Canada, successfully challenged the CDSOA as a violation of international agreements before the World Trade Organization. Congress repealed the CDSOA, effective in 2007. However, United States customs had collected antidumping duties on Canadian lumber, magnesium, and wheat imports for 2003, 2004, and 2005 and redistributed these funds to domestic producers. Canada, Canadian producers (plaintiffs), and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) (plaintiff), which sold wheat, challenged the redistributions in the Court of International Trade. The CWB’s claim to injury was that subsidies were received by the North Dakota Wheat Commission (Dakota), which promoted but did not sell wheat. The suit was based on § 408 and on the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which gave those adversely affected by unlawful agency actions a cause of action unless a relevant statute barred judicial review. The court found that the CWB had standing under Article III of the United States Constitution because Dakota’s activities helped reduce the market share of Canadian wheat. The court recognized that the Canadian producers and the CWB had a cause of action under the APA, but the producers’ claims were later found to be moot. The court held that the United States had unlawfully applied the CDSOA to Canadian goods and enjoined the United States from redistributing further funds.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Michel, J.)
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