Over the past four years, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) has, as it has done since its establishment in 1982, exercised its jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(5) to review decisions of the United States Court of International Trade (“CIT”) regarding U.S. regulation of international trade. While trade cases currently make up only about six percent of the docket of the Federal Circuit, decisions in these cases can have a significant discernable impact on the day-to-day investigation and regulation of trade matters of the three U.S. agencies featured most prominently in the trade decisions of the Federal Circuit—United States Customs and Border Protection (“Customs”), the United States Department of Commerce (“Commerce”), and the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC” or “Commission”)—and on the parties involved in trade disputes before these agencies. This article covers all cases decided by the Federal Circuit in 2006, and selected cases from 2003-2005, dealing with international trade matters from tariff classification to investigations of dumping and subsidies, and jurisdictional issues related to appeals of these matters. A significant number of the cases that arrive at the Federal Circuit from the CIT are accompanied by a complex history—sometimes described as “a long and tortuous path”—and the case summaries below highlight the major holdings of each case within the context of this history and the unique fact patterns encompassing each case.
Baj, Alexandra E.P. “International Trade Decisions of the Federal Circuit: 2006 Cases and Highlights of 2003-2005.” American University Law Review 56, no. 4 (April 2007):1023-1072.