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Facing Litigation, Commerce Will Rethink Tariff Waiver Denials


The Trump administration will reexamine its decision to deny tariff exemptions for a Texas oil pipe importer in the wake of a suit from the company that said the process was tilted in favor of domestic producers, according to a Thursday decision.

At the center of the case lodged by Borusan Mannesmann Pipe U.S. Inc. is the tariff exclusion system set up by U.S. Department of Commerce after President Donald Trump imposed a 25% levy on steel imports citing national security concerns in 2018.

Borusan requested that duties be waived for 19 unfinished steel pipes imported from its parent company in Turkey, only to be rebuffed by Commerce. It sued the agency in the U.S. Court of International Trade for violating the Administrative Procedure Act, questioning its determination that Borusan could quickly source the same products from U.S. producers.

U.S. Court of International Trade Judge M. Miller Baker wrote that "remanding for reconsideration now expedites relief that Borusan seeks and may obviate the necessity for remand (or, perhaps, any proceedings) later."

Despite the company's opposition to Commerce's remand motion, Borusan counsel Julie C. Mendoza of Morris Manning & Martin LLP told Law360 she was "pleased with the court's ruling and we hope this exclusion can be resolved quickly so our client can get the exclusion that they deserve."

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