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USA: Court Ruling Delays Threat-Based Textile Safeguard Cases

Thursday, 24 March 2005

Source: Just-Style.com

A court ruling has delayed any final judgment on the US government’s motion to halt the preliminary injunction imposed on threat-based safeguard cases for at least six weeks.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wants to wait until a merits panel of judges is formed on April 28 to review the underlying appeal to overturn the injunction itself. Oral arguments for that appeal are scheduled for May 5.

Furthermore, the merits panel is under no deadline to issue a ruling on the motion to stay once it is assigned the case.

The Federal Circuit's decision came one month after the US government made its final reply to the Court on the need for a stay.

The US Court of International Trade denied the US government from considering threat-based textile safeguard cases on December 30, 2004.

The US government filed its motion to stay the injunction with the Federal Circuit on February 7 and its appeal to overturn the injunction on February 14.

The US textile industry filed 12 threat-based safeguard cases covering 20 product categories beginning in October 2004. These categories accounted for more than $21 billion in U.S. production and nearly $39 billion in US imports, including approximately $2 billion from China.

Without the injunction, the US government was due to decide the first of the threat-based cases, cotton trousers, in early February.

If the US textile industry is forced to file safeguard petitions based on actual market disruption, the wait for relief could be lengthy.

While the US government could render decisions on actual market disruption in as little as six weeks, it has taken four months to rule on all similar petitions filed previously.