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Transformed Food Product Not Covered by Antidumping Order
Description Appeals court upheld a determination by the Department of Commerce that crawfish that was blended into a pre-cooked stew was not subject to an antidumping duty order that applied to the crawfish itself.
Topic International Law
Key Words

Antidumping Duty; Scope

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Crawfish imported from China is subject to an Antidumping Duty Order that imposes a tariff. The product is “freshwater crawfish tail meat, in all its forms (whether washed or with fat on, whether purged or unpurged), grades, and sizes; whether frozen, fresh, or chilled; and regardless of how it is packed, preserved, or prepared.” Coastal Foods, an importer, requested a scope ruling from the Department of Commerce to determine whether crawfish etouffee was included in the order. Etouffee is a stew composed mostly of gravy that is pre-cooked. Ingredients include assorted vegetables, spices, oil, starches, and ground-up crawfish. The Crawfish Processors Alliance, representing domestic interests, insisted that etouffee should be covered by the tariff. Commerce held it was not. The Alliance opposed that finding, but it was upheld by the Court of International trade. The Alliance appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The language of the antidumping duty order did not clearly resolve whether etouffee was properly considered as crawfish or if it had been transformed into a different product such that it could no longer be considered crawfish. Commerce properly considered regulatory factors in its scope inquiry. Its finding that etouffee, as a mixture of many ingredients in addition to crawfish, was not crawfish under the duty order, was supported by evidence that other ingredients in the stew penetrated the meat and permanently altered its original flavor, and that it was intended to be served after heating, whereas crawfish could be used as an ingredient in a variety of meals.
Citation Crawfish Processors Alliance v. U.S., 483 F.3d 1358 (Fed. Cir., 2007)

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