Justia U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in International Trade

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Petitioner, owner and principal of MacBride Nigeria, seeks review of two of the Commissioner's decisions relating to the loss of concrete masonry equipment shipped from the United States to Nigeria in two separate shipping containers. BDP and Zim organized and carried out the transportation of the equipment. Petitioner alleged two identical complaints against Zim and BDP, contending that they engaged in unreasonable practices when handling the equipment, in violation of Section 10(d)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. 41102(c). The court dismissed the portions of the petition relating to the first container because the petition for review of the Commission’s decision was untimely under the Hobbs Act, 28 U.S.C. 2342(3)(B), 2344. The court vacated the decision relating to the second container because the Commission improperly reduced petitioner's award for the loss of equipment. The court remanded for an award of the full amount supported by the record without mitigation and permitted under 46 C.F.R. 502.301(b). View "Adenariwo v. FMC" on Justia Law
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McKesson first filed suit in 1982 after the Iranian government expropriated the interest held by McKesson in an Iranian dairy company. At issue now is the $13.4 million in attorney's fees the district court awarded McKesson. This appeal turns on the applicability vel non of Article 518 of the Iranian Civil Procedure Act of 2000. The court read Article 518's plain language to provide that "decided by the court" applies only "[i]n the instances where the amount of [attorney's fees is] not fixed in the law or official tariff." Article 518 provides a general rule that courts must use an official tariff or other amount fixed by law in awarding attorney's fees. The court has discretion only when the tariff does not apply. In this instance, the court concluded that the official tariff applies. Iran contends that, applied to McKesson's $29.3 million judgment, the tariff yields a fee award of $29,516. McKesson does not dispute the calculation. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's fee award and instructed the district court on remand to grant McKesson $29,516 in attorney's fees.View "McKesson Corp., et al. v. Islam Republic of Iran, et al." on Justia Law

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Relator filed suit under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that the HP products Govplace sold to the federal government originated from non-designated countries, in violation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (TAA), 19 U.S.C. 2501-2581. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Govplace, concluding that the district court properly exercised its discretion in managing discovery and that Govplace reasonably relied on Ingram Micro's certification. The court concluded that a contractor like Govplace is ordinarily entitled to rely on a supplier's certification that the product meets TAA requirements. In this case, Govplace has informed the GSA during multiple Contractor Administrator Visits that it relies on Ingram Micro's Program in representing that the country of origin information for the items listed in its GSA schedule is accurate, and GSA's Administrative Report Cards evaluating Govplace have all concluded that Govplace has complied with the TAA. View "Folliard v. Government Acquisitions, Inc., et al." on Justia Law

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Appellant fled to the United States after a Hong Kong magistrate issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of smuggling, evasion of customs duties, bribery, conspiracy to defraud, and money laundering. On appeal, appellant challenged the district court's grant of an application under 28 U.S.C. 2467(d)(3) for a restraining order to preserve appellant's assets. The court concluded that the district court's restraining order was issued in a manner consistent with the procedural due process protections of 18 U.S.C. 983(j)(1)(A) where the applicable foreign criminal or forfeiture proceedings in this case afforded protections consistent with those afforded by the filing of a civil forfeiture complaint in the United States. The court need not decide whether all of those proceedings were required, or whether fewer or different proceedings would have sufficed. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment, concluding that the proceedings appellant was afforded was sufficient to satisfy the mandate of section 2467(d)(3). View "Luan, et al. v. United States" on Justia Law

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Delta filed suit against the Bank, under the Export-Import Bank Act, 12 U.S.C. 635(b)(1)(B), arguing that the Bank failed to consider the effects of loan guarantees given to Air India so that Air India could purchase Boeing airplanes. The district court entered judgment in favor of the Bank and Delta appealed. The court reversed, concluding that the Bank failed to reasonably explain its application of the Act in this case, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 500 et seq. The court directed the district court to remand the case to the Bank for further proceedings, but the district court should not vacate any of the Bank's actions in this matter to date. View "Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Export-Import Bank of the U.S., et al." on Justia Law

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This case involved the district court's order requiring the Office of the United States Trade Representative to disclose a classified document describing the government's position during international trade negotiations. The only document that remained in dispute was a white paper referred to in the district court proceedings as "document 1," which consisted of the Trade Representative's commentary on the interpretation of the phrase "in like circumstances." The court concluded that the Trade Representative properly withheld the document as exempt from disclosure under exemption 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1), because the white paper was properly classified as confidential. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's judgment. View "Center For Int'l Env. Law v. Office of the U.S. Trade Rep., et al." on Justia Law

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This case stemmed from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's recent authorization of a pilot program that allowed Mexico-domiciled trucking companies to operate trucks throughout the United States, so long as the trucking companies complied with certain federal safety standards. Drivers Association and Teamsters contended that the pilot program was unlawful. As a preliminary matter, the court concluded that Drivers Association and Teamsters both have standing to challenge the pilot program. On the merits, the court concluded that all seven of Drivers Association's arguments and all six of Teamsters' arguments were unpersuasive. Accordingly, the court denied the petitions for review. View "International Brotherhood of Teamsters, et al. v. DOT, et al." on Justia Law

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Appellants filed suit claiming that the FWS had unlawfully denied their requests for permits to import hunting trophies taken from elephant hunts in Zambia in 2005 and 2006. The district court rejected appellants' claims and granted summary judgment to the Government. Because this matter was unripe for review when the district court heard the case and issued its decision, the record on appeal was incomplete. Therefore, the court vacated the judgment and remanded for further consideration. View "Marcum, et al v. Salazar, et al" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs sued defendants alleging that defendants submitted fraudulent petitions to the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") and thereby induced the ITC to impose unwarranted duties on plaintiffs' products. At issue was whether defendants' petitions to the ITC established personal jurisdiction in the District of Columbia when none of the defendants was located or incorporated in the District of Columbia. Also at issue was whether jurisdiction was proper where defendants had conspired with a trade association that was located within the District of Columbia. The court held that plaintiffs' allegation that defendants conspired with a trade association was insufficient to support personal jurisdiction. The court then certified the following question to the D.C. Court of Appeals, "Under District of Columbia law, does a petition sent to a federal government agency in the District provide a basis for establishing personal jurisdiction over the petitioner when the plaintiff has alleged that the petition fraudulently induced unwarranted government action against the plaintiff?"