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Home > Firm News> 2017 > Winning in the United States! Being the Lawsuit Agent of Chinese Steel Companies for the First Time, Gaopeng & Partners Wins the Case of Section 301 Investigation

Winning in the United States! Being the Lawsuit Agent of Chinese Steel Companies for the First Time, Gaopeng & Partners Wins the Case of Section 301 Investigation

2018-3-22

    The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) released an announcement on March 19, 2018, deciding to terminate the investigation on antitrust charges of carbon and alloy steel products under the Section 337. The ITC ruled that the plaintiff is not eligible for litigation because it could not prove that it was harmed by the defendant’s monopolistic conduct. So far, after two years' efforts, China has completely won three lawsuit points of the Section 337 Investigation, including anti-monopoly, theft of trade secrets and fictitious origin. With the rare legal charges, a huge amount of money involved, a wide range of products and a large number of prosecuted companies, this investigation is unprecedented among all under the Section 337 that China had confronted. This case will have a significant impact as a legal precedent of lawsuits under the Section 377. Therefore, the U.S. will face great difficulties in putting forward anti-monopoly accusations under the Section 337 procedure in the future. It is inspiring that Chinese companies have obtained an overall success in the US domestic legal proceeding in the current situation where the U.S. tries to join forces with other countries to block steel made in China via the Section 232 investigations.

    In this investigation, the lawyer team of Gaopeng & Partners led by Lawyer Qian Wenjie, Partner of the law firm, together with another Partner Lawyer Jiang Liyong, represented Shougang Group to participate in the lawsuit in an all-round way.  After nearly two years of hard work, with the reason that the United States Steel Corporation (US Steel) cannot prove its damages caused by monopolistic conduct and lacks qualification as a plaintiff in consequence, the responding Chinese companies argued strongly and won the lawsuit point on the basis of the United States Antitrust Law and legal precedents of the Federal Court. In terms of the origin, the US Steel tried to find evidence on illegal transshipment from a large number of documents by reviewing the transaction documents and data of the responding Chinese enterprises over the years in the electronic evidence discovery procedure. However, the US Steel did not obtain any evidence to support its accusation, which was then rejected by ITC. Similarly, the lawsuit point of the trade secret was also terminated since the US Steel lacked evidence.

    Winning is of overriding importance to a lawsuit. Gaopeng & Partners has won the first case of Section 337 Investigation in the United States and will better serve Chinese enterprises to win such transnational lawsuits in the future.


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