Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination, Preliminary Partial Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination

 
CONTENT

Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 245 (Tuesday, December 22, 2015)

Federal Register Volume 80, Number 245 (Tuesday, December 22, 2015)

Notices

Pages 79558-79561

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov

FR Doc No: 2015-32215

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

C-570-030

Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination, Preliminary Partial Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination

AGENCY: Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers/exporters of certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-

rolled steel) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES: Effective Date: December 22, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yasmin Bordas or John Corrigan, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-3813 or (202) 482-7438, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are cold-rolled steel flat products from the PRC. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

Methodology

The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine that there is a subsidy, i.e., a

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financial contribution by an ``authority'' that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.\1\ For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.\2\ A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

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\1\ See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

\2\ See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, ``Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China,'' dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

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The Department notes that, in making this preliminary determination, we relied, in part, on facts available and, because respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available with respect to those respondents.\3\ For further information, see ``Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences'' in the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

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\3\ See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

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Alignment

As noted in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4), we are aligning the final CVD determination in this investigation with the final determination in the companion antidumping duty (AD) investigation of cold-rolled steel from the PRC based on a request made by Petitioners.\4\ Consequently, the final CVD determination will be issued on the same date as the final AD determination, which is currently scheduled to be issued no later than May 8, 2016,\5\ unless postponed.

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\4\ AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal USA EEC, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and the United States Steel Corporation (collectively, Petitioners); see also Letter from Petitioners dated, December 14, 2015.

\5\ We note that the current deadline for the final AD determination is May 8, 2016, which is a Saturday. Pursuant to Department practice, the signature date will be the next business day, which is Monday, May 9, 2016. See Notice of Clarification: Application of ``Next Business Day'' Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005).

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Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

On October 30, 2015, Petitioners filed a timely critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 703(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from the PRC.\6\ We preliminarily determine, on the basis of adverse facts available, that critical circumstances exist for Angang Group Hong Kong Co., Ltd. (Angang Hong Kong), Benxi Iron and Steel (Group) Special Steel Co., Ltd. (Benxi Iron and Steel), and Qian'an Golden Point Trading Co., Ltd. (Qian'an Golden Point). We reached a negative preliminary critical circumstances determination for all other producers/exporters of cold-rolled steel from the PRC because we do not find massive imports pursuant to 19 CFR 351.206(h)-(i). A discussion of our determination can be found in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section, ``Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances.''

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\6\ See Letter from Petitioners dated October 30, 2015.

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Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with sections 776(a)(1), 776(a)(2), and 776(b) of the Act, we applied facts otherwise available with an adverse inference, to assign countervailable subsidy rates for non-cooperative mandatory respondents Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, and non-cooperative exporter Qian'an Golden Point. With respect to the all-others rate, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act provides that if the countervailable subsidy rates established for all exporters and producers individually investigated are determined entirely in accordance with section 776 of the Act, the Department may use any reasonable method to establish an all-others rate for exporters and producers not individually investigated. In this case, the rates assigned to Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, and Qian'an Golden Point are based entirely on facts otherwise available, with an adverse inference, under section 776 of the Act. There is no other information on the record with which to determine an all-others rate. As a result, in accordance with section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act, we have established the all-others rate by applying the countervailable subsidy rates for mandatory respondents Angang Hong Kong and Benxi Iron and Steel, which are the same as the rate applied to non-selected exporter Qian'an Golden Point. The preliminary estimated countervailable subsidy rates are summarized in the table below.

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Company Subsidy rate

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Angang Group Hong Kong Co., Ltd......................... 227.29

Benxi Iron and Steel (Group) Special Steel Co., Ltd..... 227.29

Qian'an Golden Point Trading Co., Ltd................... 227.29

All-Others.............................................. 227.29

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In accordance with sections 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from the PRC, as described in the ``Scope of the Investigation,'' that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above. Moreover, because we preliminarily find that critical circumstances exist for Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, and Qian'an Golden Point, in accordance with section 703(e)(2)(A) of the Act, we are directing CBP to apply the suspension of liquidation to any unliquidated entries entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption by these companies, on or after the date which is 90 days prior to the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of our preliminary determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC

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access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

Public Comment

For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

Dated: December 15, 2015.

Paul Piquado,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

Appendix I

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

  1. Summary

  2. Background

  3. Scope Comments

  4. Scope of the Investigation

  5. Injury Test

  6. Application of the CVD Law to Imports From the PRC

  7. Alignment

  8. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

  9. Calculation of the All-Others Rate

  10. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances

  11. ITC Notification

  12. Public Comment

  13. Conclusion

Appendix II

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-

rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-

metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (``width'') of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-

rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been ``worked after rolling'' (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

(1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

(2) Where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-

section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

2.50 percent of manganese, or

3.30 percent of silicon, or

1.50 percent of copper, or

1.50 percent of aluminum, or

1.25 percent of chromium, or

0.30 percent of cobalt, or

0.40 percent of lead, or

2.00 percent of nickel, or

0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or

0.80 percent of molybdenum, or

0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or

0.30 percent of vanadium, or

0.30 percent of zirconium

Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-

free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/

or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

Ball bearing steels; \7\

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\7\ Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

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Tool steels; \8\

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\8\ Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) more than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

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Silico-manganese steel; \9\

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\9\ Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

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Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-

Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.\10\

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\10\ Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as ``a flat-

rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.''

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Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.\11\

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\11\ Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as ``cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.''

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The products subject to these investigations are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6075, 7211.23.6085, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8015, 7225.50.8085, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigations may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000,and 7229.90.1000.

The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

FR Doc. 2015-32215 Filed 12-21-15; 8:45 am

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