Sugar From Mexico: Notice of Termination of Amendment to the Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Duty Investigation

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67711-67712]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26802]
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
International Trade Administration
[A-201-845]
Sugar From Mexico: Notice of Termination of Amendment to the
Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Duty Investigation
AGENCY: Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration,
Department of Commerce.
SUMMARY: On October 18, 2019, the United States Court of International
Trade (CIT) issued a final judgment in CSC Sugar LLC v. United States,
Ct. No. 17-00215, Slip Op. 19-132 (CIT October 18, 2019) (CSC Sugar
II), vacating the 2017 amendment to the Agreement Suspending the
Antidumping Duty Investigation on Sugar from Mexico. Commerce is now
terminating the amendment consistent with the Court's order.
DATES: Applicable December 7, 2019.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sally C. Gannon, Bilateral Agreements
Unit, Office of Policy and Negotiations, Enforcement and Compliance,
International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401
Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-
0162.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
[[Page 67712]]
Background
    On December 19, 2014, Commerce and the signatory producers/
exporters accounting for substantially all imports of sugar from Mexico
signed the Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Duty Investigation on
Sugar from Mexico (AD Agreement).\1\ Subsequent to this date, between
June 2016 and June 2017, Commerce and the signatory producers/exporters
accounting for substantially all imports of sugar from Mexico held
consultations to address concerns raised by the domestic industry and
to ensure that the AD Agreement met all of the statutory requirements
for a suspension agreement, e.g., that suspension of the investigation
was in the public interest, including the availability of supplies of
sugar in the U.S. market, and that effective monitoring was
practicable. The consultations resulted in Commerce and the signatory
producers/exporters accounting for substantially all imports of sugar
from Mexico signing the amendment to the AD Agreement on June 30, 2017,
and it was subsequently published in the Federal Register.\2\
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    \1\ See Sugar From Mexico: Suspension of Antidumping Duty
Investigation, 79 FR 78039 (December 29, 2014) (AD Agreement).
    \2\ See Sugar From Mexico: Amendment to the Agreement Suspending
the Antidumping Duty Investigation, 82 FR 31945 (July 11, 2017) (AD
Amendment).
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    CSC Sugar LLC (CSC Sugar) challenged Commerce's determination to
amend the AD Agreement by contending that Commerce did not meet its
obligation to file a complete administrative record.\3\ Specifically,
CSC Sugar argued that Commerce failed to memorialize and include in the
record ex parte communications between Commerce officials and
interested parties (including the domestic sugar industry and
representatives of Mexico), as required by section 777(a)(3) of the
Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).\4\
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    \3\ See CSC Sugar II at 4.
    \4\ Id.
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    The CIT agreed with CSC Sugar and ordered Commerce to supplement
the administrative record with any ex parte communications regarding
the AD Amendment.\5\ CSC Sugar subsequently filed a motion for judgment
on the agency record arguing that Commerce's failure, during the
consultations period, to maintain contemporaneous ex parte
communication memoranda, in accordance with section 777(a)(3) of the
Act, could not be adequately remedied by Commerce's delayed and
incomplete supplementation of the record.\6\
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    \5\ Id. (citing CSC Sugar LLC v. United States, 317 F. Supp. 3d
1334, 1345 (CIT 2018)).
    \6\ See CSC Sugar II at 4.
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    The CIT found that Commerce's failure to follow the recordkeeping
requirements of Section 777 of the Act cannot be described as
``harmless.'' \7\ The CIT found that this recordkeeping failure
substantially prejudiced CSC Sugar.\8\ On that basis, the CIT stated
that the AD Amendment must be vacated.\9\
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    \7\ Id. at 11-12.
    \8\ Id. at 12.
    \9\ Id.
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Termination of AD Amendment
    Consistent with the CIT's ruling in CSC Sugar II, Commerce is
terminating the AD Amendment prospectively.\10\ Accordingly, as of
December 7, 2019, the unamended AD Agreement \11\ is in force and
effective, and the AD Amendment has no force or effect.
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    \10\ Commerce is terminating the AD Amendment, effective
December 7, 2019. Because suspension of liquidation does not occur
while the AD Agreement is in force, termination of the AD Amendment
shall be prospective in effect. Accordingly, the AD Agreement, as
signed on December 19, 2014, applies to all contracts for sugar from
Mexico exported from Mexico on or after December 7, 2019.
    \11\ See AD Agreement.
    Dated: December 6, 2019.
Jeffrey I. Kessler,
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2019-26802 Filed 12-10-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P