A US federal court has halted the government from imposing countervailing duties against imports from China, a decision which could affect several pending cases, the Financial Times reported. A federal circuit court, the highest level under the Supreme Court which hears specialized cases such as patent and international trade cases, said Monday the US could not use so-called “countervailing duties” against imports from highly-regulated “non-market economies” such as China. Countervailing duties are imposed against imports deemed to be unfairly state-subsidized. A 1984 court ruling prevented its application against non-market economies, but the commerce department allowed its resumption in 2007, bringing 23 successful cases against China and Vietnam, with five more cases still pending. “It will be easy for Congress to legislate to undo this if the political will is there, so in the longer term the ruling may prove to be just a bump in the road, but cases since 2007 that are still pending are now vulnerable,” said Jeffrey Grimson, an attorney at Mowry & Grimson.