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Notice

Granular Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin From Italy; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 by the respondent, Ausimont S.p.A. (Ausimont), the Department of Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on granular polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin from Italy. The period of review is August 1, 1998, through July 31, 1999.

We preliminarily find that sales have not been made below normal value (NV). If these preliminary results are adopted in our final results of administrative review, we will instruct the Customs Service to assess no antidumping duties on the subject merchandise exported by Ausimont. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results. Parties who submit comments in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue, and (2) a brief summary of the argument.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

May 10, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Magd Zalok or Charles Riggle, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4162 or (202) 482-0650, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Applicable Statute and Regulations

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 provided in 19 CFR Part 351 (1999).

Background

On August 30, 1988, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published in the Federal Register the antidumping duty order on granular PTFE resin from Italy (53 FR 33163). On August 27, 1999, we received a timely request for review from Ausimont and its U.S. affiliated company, Ausimont USA, the only respondent in this administrative review. On November 4, 1999, the Department published in the Federal Register a list of antidumping and countervailing duty cases with September anniversary dates for which we were initiating reviews. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part, 64 FR 60161. This initiation notice also included the initiation of this review of the antidumping duty order on granular PTFE resin from Italy because we inadvertently omitted this review from the previous initiation notice for antidumping cases with August anniversary dates.

We issued a questionnaire to Ausimont on October 8, 1999, followed by a supplemental questionnaire on February 8, 2000, and received Start Printed Page 30065responses on November 5, November 19, November 29, December 17, 1999, and February 29, 2000.

On October 22, 1999, Ausimont requested that the Department apply the “special rule” in accordance with section 772(e) of the Act and exclude sales of further-manufactured wet raw polymer from the analysis in this review on the grounds that the value added to the imported wet raw polymer in the United States is at least 65 percent of the price charged to the first unaffiliated U.S. customer. On December 9, 1999, we rejected Ausimont's request to exclude the sales of further-manufactured wet raw polymer because the burden of using the Department's standard methodology is relatively low and the proportion of further-manufactured sales is sufficiently high as to raise concerns about the accuracy of the antidumping duty margin. See the December 9, 1999, memorandum, Application of the Special Rule to Ausimont's Further-Manufactured Sales of Imported Wet Raw Polymer in the 1998-99 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Granular Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin from Italy, which is on file in the Central Records Unit (CRU) (room B-099 of the main Commerce Building).

Scope of the Review

The product covered by this review is granular PTFE resin, filled or unfilled. This order also covers PTFE wet raw polymer exported from Italy to the United States. See Granular Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin from Italy; Final Determination of Circumvention of Antidumping Duty Order, 58 FR 26100 (April 30, 1993). This order excludes PTFE dispersions in water and fine powders. During the period covered by this review, the subject merchandise was classified under item number 3904.61.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). We are providing this HTS number for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope remains dispositive.

Fair Value Comparisons

We compared the constructed export price (CEP) to the NV, as described in the Constructed Export Price and Normal Value sections of this notice. Pursuant to section 777A(d)(2) of the Act, we compared the CEPs of individual transactions to contemporaneous monthly weighted-average prices of sales of the foreign like product.

We first attempted to compare contemporaneous sales of products sold in the United States and the comparison market that were identical with respect to the following characteristics: type, filler, percentage of filler, and grade. Where we were unable to compare sales of identical merchandise, we compared U.S. sales with comparison market sales of the most similar merchandise based on the characteristics listed above, in that order of priority.

Since there were appropriate comparison market sales of comparable merchandise, we did not need to compare the merchandise sold in the United States to constructed value (CV), in accordance with section 773(a)(4) of the Act.

Constructed Export Price

For all sales to the United States, we calculated CEP as defined in section 772(b) of the Act because all sales to unaffiliated parties were made after importation of the subject merchandise into the United States through Ausimont USA, the respondent's affiliate. We based the starting price for the calculation of CEP on the packed, delivered prices to unaffiliated purchasers in the United States. We adjusted the starting price, net of billing credit, for movement expenses, in accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act, including domestic inland freight, international freight, marine insurance, brokerage and handling, U.S. inland freight, and U.S. customs duties.

In accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Act, we deducted selling expenses incurred in connection with economic activity in the United States. These expenses include credit, inventory carrying costs, and indirect expenses incurred by Ausimont USA.

With respect to sales involving imported wet raw polymer that was further manufactured into finished PTFE resin in the United States, we deducted the cost of such further manufacturing in accordance with section 772(d)(2) of the Act.

Finally, we made an adjustment for the profit allocated to the above-referenced selling and further manufacturing expenses, in accordance with section 772(d)(3) of the Act.

No other adjustments were claimed or allowed.

Normal Value

In order to determine whether there was a sufficient volume of sales of granular PTFE resin in the home market to serve as a viable basis for calculating NV, we compared Ausimont's volume of home market sales of the foreign like product to the volume of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise, in accordance with section 773(a) of the Act. Because the aggregate volume of home market sales of the foreign like product was greater than 5 percent of the respective aggregate volume of U.S. sales for the subject merchandise, we determined that the home market provides a viable basis for calculating NV. Therefore, in accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we based NV on the prices at which the foreign like product was first sold for consumption in the exporting country, in the usual commercial quantities and in the ordinary course of trade.

We determined home market prices net of price adjustments (early payment discounts and rebates). Where applicable, we made adjustments for packing and movement expenses, in accordance with sections 773(a)(6)(A) and (B) of the Act. In order to adjust for differences in packing between the two markets, we deducted home market packing costs from NV and added U.S. packing costs. We also made adjustments for differences in costs attributable to differences in physical characteristics of the merchandise, pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Act, and for other differences in the circumstances of sale (COS) in accordance with section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act. We made a COS adjustment for home market credit expense. Also, we made a CEP-offset adjustment to the NV for indirect selling expenses pursuant to section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act as discussed in the Level of Trade/CEP Offset section below.

Level of Trade/CEP Offset

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B) of the Act, to the extent practicable, we determine NV based on sales at the same level of trade in the comparison market as the level of trade of the U.S. sales. The NV level of trade is that of the starting-price sales in the comparison market. For CEP sales, such as those made by Ausimont in this review, the U.S. level of trade is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to the importer.

To determine whether NV sales are at a different level of trade than that of the U.S. sales, 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 level of trade 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 level of trade of the export transaction, we make a level-of-trade adjustment under section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act. Finally, if the NV level is more remote Start Printed Page 30066from the factory than the CEP level and there is no basis for determining whether the difference in the levels between NV and CEP affects price comparability, we adjust NV under section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act (the CEP-offset provision). See e.g., Industrial Nitrocellulose From the United Kingdom; Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 65 FR 6148, 6151 (February 8, 2000) (Industrial Nitrocellulose).

In implementing these principles in this review, we obtained information from Ausimont about the marketing stage involved in the reported U.S. sales and in the home market sales, including a description of the selling activities performed by Ausimont for each channel of distribution. In identifying levels of trade for CEP and for home market sales, we considered the selling functions reflected in the CEP, after the deduction of expenses and profit under section 772(d) of the Act, and those reflected in the home market starting price before making any adjustments. We expect that, if claimed levels of trade are the same, the functions and activities of the seller should be similar. Conversely, if a party claims that levels of trade are different for different groups of sales, the functions and activities of the seller should be dissimilar.

The record evidence before us in this review indicates that the home market and the CEP levels of trade have not changed from the 1996-97 review,[1] the most recently completed review in this case. As in prior segments of the proceeding, we determined that for Ausimont there was one home market level of trade and one U.S. level of trade (i.e., the CEP level of trade). In the home market, Ausimont sold directly to fabricators. These sales primarily entailed selling activities such as technical assistance, engineering services, research and development, technical programs, and delivery services.

In determining the level of trade for the U.S. sales, we only considered the selling activities reflected in the price after making the appropriate adjustments under section 772(d) of the Act. See e.g., Industrial Nitrocellulose, 65 FR 6148, 6149-6150 (February 8, 2000). The CEP level of trade involves minimal selling functions such as invoicing and the occasional exchange of personnel between Ausimont S.p.A. and its U.S. affiliate. Based on a comparison of the home market level of trade and this CEP level of trade, we find the home market sales to be at a different level of trade from, and more remote from the factory than, the CEP sales.

Section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act directs us to make an adjustment for difference in levels of trade where such differences affect price comparability. However, we were unable to quantify such price differences from information on the record. Because we have determined that the home-market level of trade is more remote from the factory than the CEP level of trade but the data necessary to calculate a level-of-trade adjustment are unavailable, we made a CEP-offset adjustment to NV pursuant to section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act.

Currency Conversion

We made currency conversions based on the official exchange rates in effect on the dates of the U.S. sales as certified by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Section 773A(a) of the Act directs the Department to use a daily exchange rate in order to convert foreign currencies into U.S. dollars, unless the daily rate involves a “fluctuation.”

Preliminary Results of Review

As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists:

Manufacturer/exporterPeriodMargin (percent)
Ausimont S.p.A.08/01/98-07/31/990.34

Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(b), the Department will disclose to parties to the proceeding within five days after the date of publication of this notice any calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results. An interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice. Any hearing, if requested, will be held 44 days after the date of publication, or the first workday thereafter. Case briefs and/or written comments from interested parties may be submitted not later than 30 days after the date of publication. Rebuttal briefs and rebuttals to written comments, limited to issues raised in the case briefs and comments, may be filed not later than 37 days after the date of publication. Parties who submit arguments in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue and (2) a brief summary of the argument. The Department will issue the final results of the administrative review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised in any such written comments or at a hearing, within 120 days of issuance of these preliminary results.

The Department shall determine, and the Customs Service shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Upon completion of this review, the Department will issue appraisement instructions directly to the Customs Service. If the final margin is above de minimis, for duty assessment purposes, we will calculate an importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rate based on the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the examined sales made during the POR to the total customs value of the sales used to calculate these duties. This rate will be assessed uniformly on all entries of that particular importer made during the POR. However, if these preliminary results are adopted in our final results, we will instruct the Customs Service to assess no antidumping duties on the merchandise subject to review pursuant to 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

Furthermore, the following deposit requirements will be effective upon completion of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of granular PTFE resin from Italy 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 Ausimont 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 Start Printed Page 30067to 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, a previous review, or the original investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered in this or any previous review, the cash deposit rate will be 46.46 percent, the “all others” rate established in the LTFV investigation (50 FR 26019, June 24, 1985).

This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility 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 2, 2000.

Troy H. Cribb,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  See Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Granular Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin From Italy, FR 63, 49080, 49083 (September 14, 1998), and Notice of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin from Italy, 63 FR 25826, 25827 (May 11, 1998).

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[FR Doc. 00-11598 Filed 5-9-00; 8:45 am]

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