U.S. trade court: Plaintiffs likely to establish subject matter jurisdiction in challenge to FLETF decision

A decision concerning a challenge to the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force decision to add plaintiffs to UFLPA entity list

Plaintiffs likely to establish subject matter jurisdiction in challenge to FLETF decision

The U.S. Court of International Trade today issued a decision rejecting the government’s contention that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ challenge to a decision by the interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) to add them to the Entity List of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) on the grounds that such decision was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act.

The court found that the plaintiffs—Chinese companies that manufacture and sell laser printers and printer-related products—were likely to establish subject matter jurisdiction. Specifically, the court found that because the UFLPA is a law providing for embargoes within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1581(i), challenges to agency action implementing the UFLPA fall within the court’s exclusive jurisdiction.  

The plaintiffs had filed a motion for preliminary injunction asking the court to (1) stay the FLETF’s decision to add the plaintiffs to the Entity List and (2) prevent the United States from taking any action predicated on the listing decision against the importation of the plaintiffs’ goods. In response, the United States lodged several arguments, including that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ challenge to the FLETF’s listing decision. The court focused only on the threshold issue of jurisdiction in its decision and stated that all other contentions of the parties would be left to further proceedings regarding the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction.

Read the court’s decision [PDF 605 KB] in Ninestar Corporation v. United States, Slip Op. 23-169 (Ct. Intl. Trade 2023)

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