In a February 5, 2021 order, after months of delay, the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) is proceeding in the China Section 301 tariff refund litigation with the appointment of a three-judge panel consisting of Judge Mark A. Barnett, Judge Claire R. Kelly and Judge Jennifer Choe-Groves. This is the CIT’s first action in the matter since U.S. importers began filing more than 3,600 complaints on September 10, 2020. See Update of September 14, 2020. The complaints challenge the legality of Section 301 tariffs imposed on U.S. imports of Chinese products covered under Lists/Tranches 3 and 4A. Several plaintiffs sought the appointment of a three-judge panel, while the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked for the appointment of a single judge. See Update of October 21, 2020.
The three judges appointed are the most senior active judges at the CIT with extensive experience and excellent reputations. The bios of the three judges are available here – Barnett, Kelly, and Choe-Groves. While the order addresses only the establishment of the three-judge panel, it is expected that consideration of the complaints will begin soon, starting with the establishment of a briefing schedule.
Thompson Hine attorneys and trade professionals will continue to monitor and report on the litigation status as warranted.