DOJ Suggests Test Case in Section 301 Tariff Lawsuit, HMTX Embraces Proposal
Washington, DC, September 29, 2020-The Court of International Trade should use a case management approach for the numerous Section 301 tariff lawsuits similar to the one used for litigation over the harbor maintenance tax (HMT), the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a September 23 filing, reports by International Trade Today.
“That should include the selection of a ‘test case’ and a stay of all other cases involved, DOJ said. The filing marks DOJ's first since HMTX Industries filed suit to force refunds of Section 301 tariffs paid on lists 3 and 4 goods from China (see 2009110005).
“Plaintiffs HMTX and Jasco Products had until Oct. 14 to respond to DOJ's motion, but waited only a day to file a reply in which they said ‘in the main’ they conditionally ‘embrace’ DOJ's proposals. ‘It is important to confirm at the outset that the government will stipulate, as it has in other cases, that a refund remedy is available should plaintiffs prevail,’ they said Sept. 24. The court should also consider convening a three-judge panel, rather than assigning the case to a single judge, they said: ‘This action implicates significant issues of congressional and presidential authority, as well as principles of constitutional avoidance. Notably, the principal merits issues in the HMT cases were decided by a three-judge panel.’”
A list of the companies that have joined HMTX in filing suit is available here.