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Anti‑Dumping Act, we will hold that there is no violation of the 1916 Act unless the standards of similarity of customs appraisement law are met."167 Despite its conclusion that the 1916 Act was meant to complement anti‑trust statutes, the court declined to use anti‑trust standards in evaluating claims brought under the 1916 Act. Instead, the court used standards from customs law, which are protectionist in nature.168
Japan points out, finally, as the court in Geneva Steel noted, the court in Zenith III even admitted that the 1916 Act is not exclusively an anti‑trust statute, but has anti‑dumping elements.169
The United States argues that Zenith III is the leading lower court case addressing how specific provisions of the 1916 Act should be interpreted. There, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania described in detail the anti‑trust origins of the 1916 Act and explained how these origins should affect the interpretation of specific 1916 Act provisions.
The United States notes that the Zenith III court provided its views during the course of ruling on summary judgment motions challenging the sufficiency of the complainants' 1916 Act allegations. As part of this exercise, the district court specifically considered the character of the 1916 Act because, according to the court, "the character of the statute is of salient concern in its construction." The court expressly stated that its threshold task was "to ascertain whether the 1916 Act was intended to be part of the corpus of anti‑trust law, or whether the 1916 Act was intended to be 'protectionist' legislation, as that term is used in discussion of tariff barriers to free trade."170
The United States considers, therefore, that, far from being dicta, the Zenith III court obviously considered that an analysis of the character of the 1916 Act was necessary to its holding. After reviewing the provisions of the 1916 Act and comparing them in detail to US anti‑trust statutes such as the Clayton Act and the Robinson‑Patman Act, the Zenith III court "conclude[d] [...], on the basis of the statutory text, that the 1916 Act is an anti‑trust, not a protectionist statute."171 The court also explained that "[t]hat conclusion is strongly corroborated by the political and legal history of the relevant era, and the legislative history of the 1916 Act," which the court also discussed at length.172
The United States points out that the court also quoted the relevant congressional report, which states that the purpose of the 1916 Act was to adopt a provision "[i]n order that persons, partnerships, corporations, and associations in foreign countries, whose goods are sold in this country, may be placed in the same position as our manufacturers with reference to unfair competition […].173 The court recounted that Representative Kitchin, the chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House sponsor of the 1916 Act, stated "in unambiguous terms" that the 1916 Act was "intended to do no more than to impose on importers the same pricing restrictions which had already been imposed on domestic businesses by the Clayton Anti‑trust Act of 1914."174 The court stated that:
168 Japan notes that, in Zenith III, the court used customs appraisement law to determine that the term "such" as used in the 1916 Act means "similar" which in turn means commercially interchangeable. The court reasoned that "by incorporating in the 1916 Act a phrase from contemporary customs law, Congress must have intended to direct that the appraisement of imported merchandise under the 1916 Act follow the principles set forth in the Tariff Act of 1913." Japan refers to Zenith III, Op. Cit., p. 1216.
169 Japan refers to Geneva Steel, Op. Cit., p. 1218.
170 Zenith III, Op. Cit., p. 1212.
171 Ibid., p. 1215 (emphasis added by the United States).
173 Ibid., p. 1221 (quoting H.R. Rep. No. 922, 64th Cong., 1st Sess. 9‑10 (1916)).
174 Ibid., p. 1222.