WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether uranium enriched in France and imported to the United States for use in nuclear power plants is subject to U.S. trade laws.
Eurodif SA, a French uranium-enrichment company, and U.S. utility companies argued that the imported uranium constitutes a "service" - and not a "good" subject to punitive tariffs - because the utilities provide the raw uranium and simply pay Eurodif to enrich it.
Concluding that uranium enrichment is a "manufacturing process" and not a service, the Commerce Department in 2002 imposed a 20 percent antidumping duty on Eurodif imports.
The Federal Circuit overturned that ruling in March 2005, a decision the high court agreed to review. The case could make it more difficult for U.S. companies to obtain protective tariffs on cheaper imports.