January 27, 2009
On Tuesday, November 4, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in United States v. Eurodif. In two cases consolidated for argument, the Supreme Court considers the appropriate treatment under the anti-dumping laws of contracts between Eurodif, a foreign uranium enricher, and domestic utilities. Under the contracts at issue, the American utilities provide unenriched uranium to Eurodif and receive enriched uranium back. The enriched uranium is not generally produced from the originally-provided uranium, but the utilities pay Eurodif based on what would be necessary to enrich the uranium they do provide. Following a petition filed by a competitor, the Department of Commerce concluded this transaction was a sale of a good and imposed dumping duties. Eurodif claims to be selling a service rather than a good, and since sales of services are not subject to the anti-dumping statute, but sales of goods are, the case has centered on the Department's construction of the statute to include the transaction at issue. The U.S. Court of International Trade rejected the Department's defense of its construction, and the Federal Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court now considers whether the Commerce Department is entitled to Chevron deference in its construction, which would subject the transaction to federal anti-dumping statutes. University of Minnesota Law Professor Kristin Hickman discusses the case.
Oral Argument - November 4, 2008: