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On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the Court of International Trade (CIT) delivered a small “win” for the plaintiff importers in the Section 301 China list 3 and 4A case before the court. In the fifty (50) page two-to-one split decision ruling, CIT granted a preliminary injunction to suspend the liquidation of unliquidated import entries subject to Lists 3 and 4A duties subject to the Section 301 litigation.

“In sum, the court will grant Plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file a reply and plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” wrote CIT Judges Claire Kelly and Jennifer Choe-Groves in their opinion.

“Moreover, to give the parties time to implement appropriate procedures, gather pertinent information, and otherwise take necessary action to comply with this order, the court will temporarily restrain liquidation of any unliquidated entries of merchandise imported from China by any plaintiffs in the Section 301 cases which are subject to List 3 or List 4A duties,” Kelly and Choe-Groves added.

Of the three judges, Chief Judge Mark Barnett dissented, stating “While I agree with much of their analysis, there is a critical area of disagreement between us: namely, I find that Plaintiffs have failed to establish a likelihood of irreparable harm and this failure is fatal to their motion for a preliminary injunction.” However, Judge Barnett’s rationale was based on the viewpoint that the injunction was unnecessary because the court already has the prerogative to issue reliquidation or a monetary award for imports before the court, subject to the List 3 and 4A tariffs, regardless as to whether the importer filed protests.

To obtain this favorable ruling there would need to be a fair chance that the plaintiff importers could win this case. For all importers that chose to join the case as a plaintiff, it is of the utmost importance that you reach out to your respective counsel as the courts are requiring additional information including a list of unliquidated entries.

If you have any questions, please contact your Noatum Logistics representative.