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Notice

Gray Portland Cement and Cement Clinker From Venezuela; Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of Suspended Countervailing Duty Investigation

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of final results of expedited sunset review: gray portland cement and cement clinker from Venezuela.

SUMMARY:

On August 2, 1999, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) initiated a sunset review of the suspended countervailing duty investigation on gray portland cement and cement clinker from Venezuela (64 FR 41915) pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). On the basis of a notice of intent to participate and adequate substantive response filed on behalf of a domestic interested party and inadequate response (in this case, no response) from respondent interested parties, the Department determined to conduct an expedited sunset review. As a result of this review, the Department finds that termination of the suspended countervailing duty investigation would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

March 3, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Eun W. Cho or Melissa G. Skinner, Office of Policy for Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1698 or (202) 482-1560, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Applicable Statute

Unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Act are references to the provisions effective January 1, 1995, the effective date of the amendments made to the Act by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”). In addition, unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Department regulations are to 19 CFR part 351 (1999). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of sunset reviews is set forth in the Department Policy Bulletin 98:3—Policies Regarding the Conduct of Five-year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders; Policy Bulletin, 63 FR 18871 (April 16, 1998) (Sunset Policy Bulletin).

Background

On August 2, 1999, the Department initiated a sunset review of the suspended countervailing duty investigation on gray portland cement and cement clinker from Venezuela (64 FR 41915). We invited parties to comment. On the basis of a notice of intent to participate and adequate substantive response filed on behalf of a domestic interested party and inadequate response (in this case, no response) from respondent interested parties, the Department determined to conduct an expedited sunset review. The Department is conducting this sunset review in accordance with sections 751 and 752 of the Act.

In accordance with section 751(c)(5)(C)(v) of the Act, the Department may treat a review as extraordinarily complicated if it is a review of a transition order (i.e., a suspension of an investigation in effect on January 1, 1995). This review concerns a transition suspended investigation within the meaning of section 751(c)(6)(C)(i) of the Act. Therefore, on December 3, 1999, the Department determined that the sunset review of the suspended countervailing duty investigation on portland cement from Venezuela is extraordinarily complicated and extended the time limit for completion of the final results of this review until not later than February 28, 2000, in accordance with section 751(c)(5)(B) of the Act.[1]

Scope of Review

The products covered by this suspended investigation are gray portland cement and cement clinker (“portland cement”) from Venezuela. Gray portland cement is a hydraulic cement and the primary component of concrete. Cement clinker, an intermediate material produced when manufacturing cement, has no use other than grinding into finished cement. Oil well cement is also included within the scope. Microfine cement was specifically excluded from the scope. Gray portland cement is currently classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (“HTS”) item number 2523.29, and cement clinker is currently classifiable under HTS item number 2523.10. Gray portland cement has also been entered under item number 2523.90 as other hydraulic cements.

The HTS item numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written product description remains dispositive as to the scope of the product coverage.

Analysis of Comments Received

All issues raised in substantive responses by parties to this sunset review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum (“Decision Memo”) from Jeffrey A. May, Director, Office of Policy, Import Administration, to Joseph A. Spetrini Acting Assistant Secretary, dated February 28, 2000, which is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference into this notice. The issues discussed in the attached Decision Memo include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidy and the magnitude of the net subsidy likely to prevail were the suspension agreement terminated. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum which is on file in B-099.

In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memo can be accessed directly on the Web at www.ita.doc.gov/​import_​admin/​records/​frn/​, under the heading Venezuela. The paper copy and electronic version of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Final Results of Review

We determine that termination of the suspended countervailing duty investigation would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidy. However, we have no information whether the program, which gave rise to the net countervailable subsidy in the investigation, has been altered to effectuate any change in the net countervailable subsidy since the subsidy agreement. Consequently, we cannot determine the net countervailable subsidy likely to prevail under the instant review.

This notice also serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

We are issuing and publishing this determination and notice in accordance Start Printed Page 11555with sections section 751(c), 752, and 777(i) of the Act.

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Dated: February 28, 2000.

Joseph A. Spetrini,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  See Extension of Time Limit for Final Results of Five-Year Reviews, 64 FR 67847 (December 3, 1999).

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[FR Doc. 00-5212 Filed 3-2-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P