On September 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) published a final rule codifying numerous changes – both substantive and procedural in nature – to certain portions of the body of regulations governing antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings. Regulations To Improve Administration and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws, 86 Fed. Reg. 52,300 (Dep’t Commerce Sept. 20, 2021) (“Final Rule”). The rule revisions constitute the first major overhaul of the AD/CVD regulations in over 20 years and were several years in the making. That Commerce’s work on and ultimate implementation of these revisions spanned multiple presidential administrations is a testament to the apolitical nature of the effort and its importance to the good governance of U.S. trade laws.
Commerce first published a proposed rule in August 2020, inviting public comment and allowing 30 days for initial comments and 14 days for rebuttal submissions. Regulations To Improve Administration and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws, 85 Fed. Reg. 49,472 (Dep’t Commerce Aug. 13, 2020) (“Proposed Rule”). In response to the Proposed Rule, Commerce received 37 sets of comments and 17 rebuttal submissions from interested parties, including domestic producers, exporters, importers, surety companies, and foreign governments. Given the scope and significance of the Proposed Rule most submissions were submitted on behalf of formal trade associations or informal groups of companies, or law firms, including Kelley Drye, representing the general interests of their client base and providing input based on extensive practitioner experience.
The modifications proposed and ultimately adopted by Commerce were largely expected and codified agency practice as it has developed over many years, in a number of increasingly important areas. As Commerce explains:
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