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Alexander Chinoy assists clients with the resolution of international intellectual property and trade disputes, appearing before a range of U.S. courts and agencies. He is an accomplished trade litigator who has been involved in more than 30 Section 337 unfair import investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), as well as a range of enforcement and regulatory matters involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Alex has been recognized as a leading Section 337 litigator by Chambers USA, with sources noting he is "impressive beyond his years of practice."

Alex is a past President of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association, the leading bar association for Section 337 practitioners. He has hands-on experience with every phase of Section 337 investigations. He has participated in a dozen hearings at the ITC ranging from trials on violation to enforcement hearings and temporary relief proceedings. His experience spans every phase of 337 litigation, from pre-complaint counseling through appeal of final ITC determinations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), as well as CBP enforcement of ITC exclusion orders.

Alex has additional administrative experience before CBP, including classification and compliance matters, as well as before the U.S. Department of Commerce. His broader litigation experience includes district court intellectual property cases, and a range of trade disputes before the U.S. Court of International Trade. He has successfully argued appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the CAFC. Alex has also counseled foreign governments and multinational companies on the use of trade policy tools to resolve international IPR issues and other business disputes, as well as regarding IPR border measures and enforcement remedies outside the United States.

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Presidential Action Triggered by Crisis in the U.S. Solar Industry

In recent months, the U.S. solar industry has been in the midst of an existential crisis, triggered by the threatened imposition of retroactive and future tariffs on a significant portion of U.S. imports. That crisis began on April 1, 2022, when the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) initiated an inquiry to determine whether solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are circumventing antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) orders on solar cells from China. Solar cells from these countries generally accounted for approximately 80% of U.S. solar module imports in 2020.[1] If Commerce finds circumvention, solar cells and modules from the four target countries could not only be subject to combined AD/CVD tariffs approaching 250%, but Commerce’s regulations also allow for the agency to apply these tariffs retroactively to merchandise entering on or after April 1, 2022 (and potentially as far back as November 4, 2021). This threat of AD/CVD tariffs triggered a steep decrease in imports of solar cells and modules from Southeast Asia, and caused parts of the U.S. solar industry to come to a stand-still, furthering domestic reliance on coal.[2] Given this paralysis in the solar industry, lawmakers and others urged the President to provide relief from potential AD/CVD tariffs.[3]

The President’s Response

On June 6, 2022, President Biden issued a declaration of emergency (the “Declaration”)[4] pursuant to section 318(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1318), and issued a determination pursuant to section 303 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. § 4533) (“the DPA Determination”)[5]. The Declaration finds that an emergency exists “with respect to the threats to the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity” and authorizes Commerce to issue a moratorium on tariffs on solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam for up to a 24-month period, while the DPA Determination aims to “expand the domestic production capability” for solar cells during this 24-month period. The Declaration itself does not prevent the imposition of tariffs on imported solar cells and modules from the Southeast Asian countries, rather it authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to “take appropriate action” to permit the duty-free importation of solar cells and modules for 24 months after the Declaration’s issue date.[6]

Continue Reading President Acts to Prevent Import Tariffs on Solar Cells and Modules from Southeast Asia