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Notice

Polyethylene Terephthalate Film From Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of preliminary results of antidumping duty administrative review.

SUMMARY:

In response to a request from two respondents and two U.S. producers, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET film) from the Republic of Korea. The review covers three manufacturers/exporters of the subject merchandise to the United States and Start Printed Page 26575the period June 1, 1998 through May 31, 1999.

We preliminarily determine that there is a dumping margin for SKC Limited (SKC), and no margin for H.S. Industries (HSI) and Hyosung Corporation (Hyosung) during the period June 1, 1998 through May 31, 1999.

If these preliminary results are adopted in our final results of review, we will instruct the U.S. Customs Service to assess antidumping duties based on the difference between the United States Price (USP) and normal value (NV).

Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results. Parties who submit arguments in this proceeding are requested to submit with the arguments: (1) A statement of the issues and (2) a brief summary of the arguments (no longer than five pages, including footnotes).

EFFECTIVE DATE:

May 8, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael J. Heaney or Robert James, AD/CVD Enforcement Group III , Office 8, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230; telephone (202) 482-4475 and (202) 482-0649, respectively.

Applicable Statute

Unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (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's regulations are to the regulations codified at 19 CFR Part 351 (1999).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Department published an antidumping duty order on PET film from the Republic of Korea on June 5, 1991 (56 FR 25660). On June 16, 1999, two domestic producers, E.I. DuPont Nemours & Co., Inc. and Mitsubishi Polyester Film L.L.C. requested reviews of HSI, Hyosung, and SKC for the period June 1, 1998 through May 31, 1999. On June 28, and June 30, 1999, SKC and HSI, respectively, requested administrative reviews of their sales for the same time period. We published a notice of initiation of the review on July 29, 1999 (64 FR 41075).

On February 9, 2000, the Department published a notice extending the time limits for publication of its preliminary results by 62 days (65 FR 6360).

Scope of the Review

Imports covered by this review are shipments of all gauges of raw, pretreated, or primed polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip, whether extruded or coextruded. The films excluded from this review are metallized films and other finished films that have had at least one of their surfaces modified by the application of a performance-enhancing resinous or inorganic layer of more than 0.00001 inches (0.254 micrometers) thick. Roller transport cleaning film which has at least one of its surfaces modified by the application of 0.5 micrometers of SBR latex has also been ruled as not within the scope of the order.

PET film is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheading 3920.62.00.00. The HTS subheading is provided for convenience and for U.S. Customs purposes. The written description remains dispositive as to the scope of the product coverage. The review covers the period June 1, 1998 through May 31, 1999. The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751 of the Act, as amended.

Fair Value Comparisons

To determine whether sales of PET film in the United States were made at less than fair value, we compared USP to the NV, as described in the “United States Price” and “Normal Value” sections of this notice. In accordance with section 777A(d)(2) of the Act, we calculated monthly weighted-average prices for NV and compared these to individual U.S. transactions.

United States Price (USP)

In calculating USP, the Department treated respondent's sales as export price (EP) sales, as defined in section 772(a) of the Act, when the merchandise was sold to unaffiliated U.S. purchasers prior to the date of importation, and use of the constructed export price (CEP) methodology was not otherwise indicated. The Department treated SKC's sales as CEP sales, as defined in section 772(b) of the Act, when the merchandise was sold to unaffiliated U.S. purchasers after importation.

CEP was based on the delivered or c.i.f. U.S. port, packed prices to unaffiliated purchasers in the United States. We made adjustments, where applicable, for Korean and U.S. brokerage charges, Korean and U.S. inland freight, ocean freight, bank charges, U.S. duties, and discounts, in accordance with section 772(c) of the Act. We made additions to EP for duty drawback pursuant to section 772(c)(1)(B) of the Act.

CEP was based on the delivered, packed prices to unaffiliated purchasers in the United States. We made adjustments, where applicable, for Korean and U.S. brokerage charges, Korean and U.S. inland freight, ocean freight, and U.S. duties, in accordance with section 772(c) of the Act. Pursuant to section 772(c)(1)(B) of the Act, we made an addition to CEP for duty drawback. We also made an addition to CEP for interest revenue. In accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Act, we made deductions for selling expenses associated with economic activities in the United States, including warranties, credit expenses, bank charges, and indirect selling expenses.

With respect to subject merchandise to which value was added in the United States by SKC prior to sale to unaffiliated customers, we deducted the cost of further manufacturing in accordance with section 772(d)(2) of the Act.

Pursuant to section 772(d)(3) of the Act, the price was further reduced by an amount for profit to arrive at the CEP.

Normal Value

In order to determine whether there were sufficient sales of PET film in the home market (HM) to serve as a viable basis for calculating NV, for each respondent we compared the volume of HM sales of PET film to the volume of PET film sold in the United States, in accordance with section 773(a)(1)(C) of the Act. Each respondent's aggregate volume of HM sales of the foreign like product was greater than five percent of its aggregate volume of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise. Therefore, we have based NV on the price at which the foreign like product was sold for consumption in the home market in the usual commercial quantities, in the ordinary course of trade, and, to the extent practicable, at the same level of trade.

Because the Department had disregarded SKC's sales of the foreign like product in the June 1996-May 1997 administrative review because they failed the cost test (see Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet and Strip from the Republic of Korea; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review (1996-1997 Administrative Review), 63 FR 37334, 37335 (July 10, 1998) in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act, the Department had reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that SKC made sales below cost of production (COP) during this POR. Accordingly, we initiated a sales-below-cost of production investigation for SKC in accordance with section 773(b) of the Start Printed Page 26576Act. (The June 1996-May 1997 administrative review was the most recently completed review at the time that we issued our antidumping questionnaire.)

We performed a model-specific COP test in which we examined whether each HM sale was priced below the merchandise's COP. We calculated the COP of the merchandise using SKC's cost of materials and fabrication for the foreign like product, plus amounts for home market general and administrative (G&A) expenses and packing costs, in accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Act. We allocated yield losses equally between A-grade and B-grade film because these grades have identical production costs. This is consistent with the methodology employed in past reviews of this case. (See e.g., 1996-1997 Administrative Review, 37335).

In accordance with section 773(b)(1) of the Act, in determining whether to disregard home market sales made at prices below COP, we examined whether such sales were made within an extended period of time in substantial quantities, and whether such sales were made at prices which would permit recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time.

Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act, where less than 20 percent of SKC's sales of a given model were at prices less than COP, we did not disregard any below-cost sales of that model because these below-cost sales were not made in substantial quantities. Where 20 percent or more of SKC's home market sales of a given model were at prices less than the COP, we disregarded the below-cost sales because such sales were found to be made: (1) in substantial quantities within the POR (i.e., within an extended period of time) in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(B) of the Act, and (2) at prices which would not permit recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(D) of the Act (i.e., the sales were made at prices below the weighted-average per-unit COP for the POR). We used the remaining sales as the basis for determining NV, if such sales existed, in accordance with section 773(b)(1) of the Act.

In determining NV, we considered comparison market sales of identical or similar merchandise, or constructed value (CV).

In accordance with section 773(e)(1) of the Act, we calculated CV based on the sum of SKC's cost of materials, fabrication, G&A expenses, and profit. We allocated yield losses equally between A-grade and B-grade film. In accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act, we based G&A expenses and profit on the amounts incurred and realized by SKC in connection with the production and sale of the foreign like product in the ordinary course of trade for consumption in the foreign country. For selling expenses, we used the weighted-average HM selling expenses. Pursuant to section 773(e)(3) of the Act, we included U.S. packing expenses.

In accordance with section 773(a)(6) of the Act, we adjusted NV, where appropriate, by deducting home market packing expenses and adding U.S. packing expenses. We also adjusted NV for credit expenses. When NV was based upon home market sales, we made an adjustment for inland freight. For SKC's local export sales, we also made an addition to home market price for duty drawback. For comparisons to EP, we made an addition to NV for U.S.credit expenses, and bank charges as circumstance-of-sale adjustments pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C) of the Act.

Level of Trade and CEP Offset

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, to the extent practicable, we determine NV based on sales in the comparison market at the same level of trade (LOT) as the EP or CEP transaction. The NV LOT is that of the starting price sales in the comparison market or, when NV is based on CV, that of the sales from which we derive SG&A expenses and profit. For EP, the U.S. LOT is also the level of the starting price sale, which is usually from the exporter to the importer. For CEP, it is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to the importer.

To determine whether NV sales are at a different LOT than EP or CEP, we examine stages in the marketing process and selling functions along the chain of distribution between the producer and the unaffiliated customer. If the comparison market sales are at a different LOT, and the difference affects price comparability, as manifested in a pattern of consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based and comparison market sales at the LOT of the export transaction, we make a LOT adjustment under section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act. Finally, for CEP sales, if the NV level is more remote from the factory than the CEP level and there is no basis for determining whether the differences in the levels between NV and CEP affect price comparability, we adjust NV under section 773(A)(7)(B) of the Act (the CEP offset provision). See, e.g., Certain Carbon Steel Plate from South Africa, Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 62 FR 61731 (November 19, 1997).

In implementing these principles in this review, we asked each respondent to identify the specific differences and similarities in selling functions and/or support services between all phases of marketing in the home market and the United States. SKC identified two channels of distribution in the home market: (1) wholesalers/distributors and (2) end-users. HSI also identified two channels of distribution: sales to end-users and sales to distributors. Hyosung identified one channel of distribution in the home market: sales to end-users. For both channels SKC and HSI perform similar selling functions such as order processing, market research and after-sales warranty services. Because channels of distribution do not qualify per se as separate LOTs, when the selling functions performed for each customer class are sufficiently similar, as in the instant review, we determined that there exists one LOT for SKC's and HSI's home market sales.

For the U.S. market SKC reported two LOTs: (1) EP sales made directly to its U.S. customers, and (2) CEP sales made through SKC America, Inc., SKC's wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary. HSI and Hyosung identified one LOT: EP sales made directly to U.S. customers. The Department examined the selling functions performed by SKC for both EP and CEP sales. These selling functions included customer sales contacts (i.e., visiting current or potential customers, receiving orders, promotion of new products, collection of unpaid invoices), technical services, inventory maintenance, and/or business system development. We found that SKC provided a greater degree of these services on EP sales than it did on CEP sales, and that the selling functions were sufficiently different to warrant two separate LOTs in the United States.

When we compared EP sales to home market sales, we determined that for each respondent both sales were made at the same LOT. For both EP and home market transactions, each respondent sold directly to the customer and provided similar levels of customer sales contacts, technical services, inventory maintenance and business system development. Therefore, no LOT adjustment was warranted.

For CEP sales, SKC performed fewer customer sales contacts, technical services, inventory maintenance, and computer legal, audit and business system development. In addition, the differences in selling functions performed for home market and CEP transactions indicate that home market Start Printed Page 26577sales involved a more advanced stage of distribution than CEP sales.

Because we compared these CEP sales to HM sales at a different LOT, we examined whether a LOT adjustment may be appropriate. In this case SKC sold at one LOT in the home market; therefore, there is no demonstrated pattern of consistent price differences between LOTs. Further, we do not have the information which would allow us to examine pricing patterns of SKC's sales of other similar products, and there is no other record evidence on which such an analysis could be based.

Because the data available do not provide an appropriate basis for making a LOT adjustment but the LOT in Korea for SKC is at a more advanced stage than the LOT of its CEP sales, a CEP offset is appropriate in accordance with section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act, as claimed by SKC. We based the CEP offset amount on the amount of home market indirect selling expenses, and limited the deduction for home market indirect selling expenses to the amount of indirect selling expenses deducted from CEP in accordance with section 772(d)(1)(D) of the Act. We applied the CEP offset to NV, whether based on home market prices or CV.

Preliminary Results of Review

We preliminarily determine that the following margins exist for the period June 1, 1998 through May 31, 1999:

CompanyMargin (percent)
HSI0
Hyosung0
SKC1.35

We will disclose calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results of review within 5 days of the day of publication of this notice. Interested parties may request a hearing not later than 30 days after publication of this notice. Interested parties may also submit written arguments in case briefs on these preliminary results within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with each argument a statement of the issue and a brief summary of the argument. All memoranda to which we refer in this notice can be found in the public reading room, located in the Central Records Unit, room B-009 of the main Commerce building. Any hearing, if requested, will be held two days after the scheduled date for submission of rebuttal briefs.

The Department will publish the final results of this administrative review, including a discussion of its analysis of issues raised in any case or rebuttal brief or at a hearing. The Department will issue final results of this review within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results.

Upon completion of the final results in this review, the Department shall determine, and the Customs Service shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212 (b), we have calculated an importer/customer-specific assessment rate based on the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the examined sales to the entered value of those same sales. This Department will issue appraisement instructions on each exporter directly to the Customs Service.

Furthermore, the following deposit requirements will be effective upon completion of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of PET film from the Republic of Korea entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(1) of the Act: (1) the cash deposit rate for the reviewed firm will be the rate established in the final results of administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation or a previous review, the cash deposit will continue to be the most recent rate published in the final determination or final results for which the manufacturer or exporter received a company-specific rate; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review or the original investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be that established for the manufacturer of the merchandise in the final results of this review or the LTFV investigation; and (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered in this or any previous reviews, the cash deposit rate will be 21.5%, the “all others” rate established in the LTFV investigation.

This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. This administrative review and notice are in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

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Dated: May 1, 2000.

Troy H. Cribb,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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[FR Doc. 00-11460 Filed 5-5-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P