from the United States Court of International Trade in No.
1:14-cv-00199-TCS, Chief Judge Timothy C. Stanceu.
Harrison, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, DC,
argued for plaintiff-appellee.
E. DeFrancesco, III, Wiley Rein, LLP, Washington, DC, argued
for defendant-appellant. Also represented by Alan H. Price,
Tessa V. Capeloto, Derick Holt.
Prost, Chief Judge, Moore and Reyna, Circuit Judges.
Extrusions Fair Trade Committee ("AEFTC") appeals a
decision from the U.S. Court of International Trade
("the CIT") affirming a scope ruling of the U.S.
Department of Commerce. The scope ruling held that Whirlpool
Corporation's kitchen appliance door handles with end
caps ("assembled handles") do not fall within the
scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on
aluminum extrusions from the People's Republic of China
("the Orders"). For the reasons stated below, we
affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, vacate-in-part, and remand.
instant appeal addresses whether particular products fall
within the scope of existing antidumping and countervailing
duty orders. We examine the Orders' scope and the
procedural history before turning to the merits.
published the Orders in 2011. See Aluminum Extrusions
from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty
Order, 76 Fed. Reg. 30, 650 (Dep't of Commerce May
26, 2011); Aluminum Extrusions from the People's
Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 76 Fed.
Reg. 30, 653 (Dep't of Commerce May 26, 2011). The scope
of the Orders describes the subject merchandise as
"aluminum extrusions" that "are shapes and
forms, produced by an extrusion process, made from"
specified aluminum alloys. Antidumping Duty Order,
76 Fed. Reg. at 30, 650. The subject extrusions "may be
described at the time of importation as parts for final
finished products that are assembled after importation."
Id. The scope also "includes the aluminum
extrusion components that are attached (e.g., by welding or
fasteners) to form subassemblies, i.e., partially assembled
Orders' scope contains several exclusions.
Meridian, 851 F.3d at 1379. For example, the scope
has a finished merchandise exclusion, which "excludes
finished merchandise containing aluminum extrusions as parts
that are fully and permanently assembled and completed at the
time of entry, such as finished windows with glass, doors
with glass or vinyl, picture frames with glass pane and
backing material, and solar panels." Antidumping
Duty Order, 76 Fed. Reg. at 30, 651. The scope also has
a finished goods kit exclusion, which
excludes finished goods containing aluminum extrusions that
are entered unassembled in a "finished goods kit."
A finished goods kit is understood to mean a packaged
combination of parts that contains, at the time of
importation, all of the necessary parts to fully assemble a
final finished good and requires no further finishing or
fabrication, such as cutting or punching, and is assembled
"as is" into a finished product.
Id. The next sentence of the Orders includes,
however, an exception to the finished goods kit exclusion.
See Meridian, 851 F.3d at 1385. The exception states
that "[a]n imported product will not be considered a
'finished goods kit' and therefore excluded from the
scope of the investigation merely by including fasteners such
as screws, bolts, etc. in the packaging with an aluminum
extrusion product." Id.
December 20, 2013, Whirlpool submitted a request for a scope
ruling that its kitchen appliance door handles with end caps
were not covered by the scope of the Orders. Whirlpool's
December 2013 Scope Request was expressly based on a claim
that its assembled handles were subject to the finished
August 4, 2014, Commerce issued its Scope Ruling for
Whirlpool's assembled handles. Commerce found that
"the handles at issue do not meet the exclusion criteria
for 'finished merchandise' and, therefore, are inside
the scope of the Orders." J.A. 340. As a threshold
issue, Commerce rejected Whirlpool's argument that the
fasteners exception language in the scope only applies in the
context of the finished goods kit exclusion and that it
should not apply in the finished merchandise exclusion. J.A.
342. Commerce found "unconvincing the notion that an
unassembled product in kit-form that consists solely of
extruded aluminum, save for fasteners, would . . . fall
inside the scope while the identical product, entering the
United States as an assembled good, would fall outside the
scope of the Orders." J.A. 43.
Commerce determined that the fasteners exception also applies
to the finished merchandise exclusion, it concluded that
"the mere inclusion of fasteners, in this case the
plastic end caps, does not result in the extruded aluminum
handles falling outside the scope of the Orders as extruded
finished merchandise." J.A. 341. Citing the dictionary
definition of a washer, Commerce found that "the end
caps . . . are involved in attaching the handle to the
refrigerator door in a manner that allows the handle to fit
tightly to the refrigerator door and relieves friction
between the door and the handle, " and on that basis
found "that the plastic end caps are analogous to a
washer." J.A. 340. Commerce, in a prior scope ruling,
had considered washers to fall within the scope's
reference to fasteners. Accordingly, Commerce found
"that the handles at issue are comprised entirely of
extruded aluminum and fasteners (i.e., plastic end
caps)." J.A. 340.
appealed Commerce's August 2014 Scope Ruling to the CIT.
After briefing and oral argument, the CIT issued its February
2016 Remand Order (Whirlpool I). The CIT remanded to
Commerce for two reasons. First, the CIT determined that the
general scope language of the Orders could not be reasonably
interpreted to include Whirlpool's assembled handles at
all. The CIT noted that "Commerce did not rely on the
'subassemblies' provision in the general scope
language, " which was "understandable" based
on evidence that "the assembled handles are imported in
a form in which they require no further assembly or
processing prior to the intended use." J.A. 45. Second,
the CIT determined that, even if the assembled handles were
described by the general scope language, Commerce erroneously
determined that the assembled handles do not qualify for the
finished merchandise exception because the fasteners
exception does not apply to the finished merchandise
exclusion. The CIT also determined that Commerce employed
flawed logic and ignored record evidence in concluding that
the plastic end caps in the assembled handles are
"washers" and therefore "fasteners."
respect to the CIT's second basis for its remand order,
it stated that Commerce's "presum[ption] that the
exception for fasteners in the finished goods kit exclusion
applies to the finished merchandise exclusion as well . . .
is at odds with established principles of construction."
J.A. 47-48. According to the CIT, if "Commerce . . . had
intended to sweep into the scope any assembled good
consisting solely of aluminum extrusion components and
fasteners, [it would have] so provide[d] in the scope
language. Instead, Commerce expressly confined its
'fasteners' exception to the finished goods kit
exclusion." J.A. 48.
remand, Commerce determined, "under respectful protest,
" that the assembled handles were "outside the
scope of the Orders because, consistent with the [CIT]'s
interpretation of the scope language, there is no general
scope language which covers such products." J.A. 29.
Commerce declined to provide any further analysis with
respect to the finished merchandise exclusion, explaining
that "the issue of whether Whirlpool's handles with
end caps are subject to the exclusion for finished
merchandise is rendered moot by the [CIT]'s findings and