Monday, October 29, 2007
Department of Commerce seeks comments on granting market-economy treatment to certain Chinese respondents in antidumping suits
On October 25, the US Department of Commerce issued a notice requesting public comment on
whether it should consider granting market-economy treatment to individual respondents in antidumping proceedings involving the People's Republic of China ("China"), the conditions under which individual firms should be granted market-economy treatment, and how such treatment might affect our antidumping calculation for such qualifying respondents.
This is a very interesting development. As trade buffs know, Commerce has long declined as a matter of policy to apply countervailing duties to non-market economies on the grounds that the amount of a countervailable subsidy in such an economy is impossible to determine. (Trade buffs may also think I'm oversimplifying here; sorry!) Recently, however, Commerce did find that Chinese exports had received a countervailable subsidy. (See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Coated Free Sheet ("CFS") Paper from the People's Republic of China - Whether the Analytical Elements of the Georgetown Steel Opinion are Applicable to China's Present-day Economy (March 29, 2007) (on file in the CRU on the record of case number C-570-907); Coated Free Sheet Paper from the People's Republic of China: Amended Preliminary
Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 72 FR 17484 (April 9, 2007).) This position is less a reversal of previous policy than a recognition that China's economy is sufficiently market-governed in at least some areas to warrant revisiting the policy's application to China.
This new thinking has now gone the logical next step, toward consideration of the possibility that some elements of China's economy are sufficiently market-governed that they should not be subject to NME treatment in antidumping proceedings. Since NME treatment is, for respondents, essentially the equivalent of losing before the contest has begun, that Commerce will consider this possibility is good news for Chinese exporters and American importers.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I am sorry to report the death of Prof. Wallace Johnson of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures of the University of Kansas. Among students of Chinese law, Prof. Johnson is best known for his translation of the Tang Code: first the General Principles (Princeton University Press, 1979) and later the Specific Articles (Princeton University Press, 1997). Here are two obituaries: Lawrence Journal World & News | University of Kansas news release.
We also have Prof. Johnson to thank for the online and Word versions of the Tang, Ming, and Qing codes, available here.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Here's an interesting story about Wuhan University Faculty of Law professor Zhao Tingguang (赵廷光), who after sixteen years of research and (it is reported) 1.3 million yuan out of his own pocket has developed software that will determine the appropriate sentence in criminal cases. The reporter takes the software for a test run: On Nov. 13, 2003, the husband-and-wife proprietors of an internet cafe were attacked with knives by Zhou Wei, Zhou Yan, and others. The husband's right hand was cut off at the wrist, and the wife suffered serious injuries as well. Their injuries were classified as Grade 4 and Grade 7 respectively.
Upon starting up the software, one first selects the name of the crime and the act. The second step is to click on various circumstances of the case relevant to sentence measurement. The third step is to grade, on a 5-point scale, the importance of each element as well as its "concrete manifestation" (具体表现情况). The fourth step is to enter in a few words the basis and rationale for the grading. The computer then generates a proposed sentence as well as an explanation in several thousand characters of the grounds for the proposed sentence (presumably citing not just statutes, but also judicial interpretations and other authoritative documents). When going through the above steps, one can look up relevant statutes, judicial interpretations, materials on sentencing theory, and cases.
The software recommended a sentence of seven years and one month for Zhou Wei and one year and six months for Zhou Yan.
Incidentally, the report states that a previous version of the software (keyed to the 1979 Criminal Law) was in use by over 100 courts, procuracies, and law firms.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
I have been asked to post the following announcement. Apparently papers on China are considered "international law" and thus welcome.
THE YALE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW ANNOUNCES ITS SIXTH ANNUAL YOUNG SCHOLARS' CONFERENCE
CALL FOR PAPERS FROM JD STUDENTS
Deadline: December 10, 2007
The Yale Journal of International Law (YJIL) is accepting submissions
for its Young Scholars' Conference, which will take place on March 1,
2008. The Conference aims to encourage scholarship in international
law among current J.D. students by giving them an opportunity to
present a paper and receive feedback from distinguished professors in
the field. The Conference will include panel presentations of student
scholarship, a roundtable discussion on careers in legal academia, a
keynote address, and a closing dinner. Two of the papers presented at
the Conference will be selected for publication in YJIL. Support for
the Conference has been provided by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen '37 Fund.
YJIL will accept papers of no more than 15,000 words (including
footnotes) on topics in international law from current J.D. students.
Papers that have previously been published will not be considered.
Presenters must be able to travel to New Haven, CT, for a full day of
events on March 1, 2008. YJIL will provide presenting students with
accommodations and cover up to $200 of their conference-related travel
Submissions, accompanied by author's c.v., should be sent to
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Here's an interesting and welcome report, if it's accurate. Here's the first part of the story:
Chinese medical officials agreed Friday not to transplant organs from prisoners or others in custody, except into members of their immediate families.
The agreement was reached at a meeting of the World Medical Association in Copenhagen.
China has previously acknowledged that kidneys, livers, corneas and other organs are routinely removed from prisoners sentenced to death row. But officials insist that this only happens when consent is provided.
Critics argue that death-row prisoners are not truly free to consent and may feel compelled to become donors, violating personal, religious or cultural beliefs.
There has been a great deal of controversy over the taking of organs from condemned prisoners in China; just try this Google search. Here is a very good 1994 report on the subject from Human Rights Watch.
Will this agreement be honored? The single exception it provides is reasonable, but given market pressures and the powerlessness of death-row prisoners, it's hard not to be pessimistic about the exception turning into the rule. We are probably going to find that death-row prisoners have an astonishing number of close relatives needing transplants.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007