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Notice

Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils From Germany; Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of initiation and preliminary results of changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order, and intent to revoke order in part.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(c), Sensormatic Electronics Corporation (Sensormatic) filed a request for a clarification of the scope of the antidumping duty order on certain stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from Germany with respect to the specialty stainless steel strip product described in the “Scope of Changed Circumstances Review” section, below. Alternatively, Sensormatic requested the Department conduct a changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order and revoke the order with regard to the specific product at issue, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.216(b). Domestic producers of the like product have expressed no interest in continuation of the order with respect to this particular stainless steel product.

In response to Sensormatic's request, the Department of Commerce (the Start Printed Page 43184Department) is initiating a changed circumstances review with respect to this request and issuing a notice of intent to revoke in part the antidumping duty order on certain stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from Germany. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 17, 2001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert M. James, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0649.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Applicable Statute and Regulations

Unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the statute are references to the provisions effective January 1, 1995, the effective date of the amendments made to the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Tariff Act), by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. In addition, unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Department's regulations are to the regulations as codified at 19 CFR part 351 (2000).

Background

The Department published the antidumping duty order on stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from Germany on July 27, 1999. See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order, 64 FR 40557. On May 18, 2001, Sensormatic requested that the Department determine that a specialty stainless steel strip product known as “SemiVac 90” is outside the scope of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from Germany; in the alternative, Sensormatic requested that the Department revoke in part the antidumping duty order on stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from Germany on the basis of “changed circumstances.” Sensormatic described SemiVac 90 stainless steel as a “magnet iron-chromium-cobalt alloy stainless steel strip” which is used to bias the resonator in anti-theft labels. Sensormatic likened its SemiVac 90 to “Arnokrome III,” a product specifically excluded from the scope of the order, which is reproduced in the “Scope of the Order” section, below. See Letter from Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., May 18, 2001, at 2 and 4.

On July 5, 2001, domestic producers of the like product (Allegheny Ludlum Corporation, Armco, Inc., J&L Specialty Steel, Inc., Washington Steel Division of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO/CLC, Butler Armco Independent Union, and Zanesville Armco Independent Organization) informed the Department that, consistent with the position stated during the less-than-fair-value investigation, they have no objection to Sensormatic's request.

Scope of the Order

The products covered by this order are certain stainless steel sheet and strip in coils. Stainless steel is an alloy steel containing, by weight, 1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or without other elements. The subject sheet and strip is a flat-rolled product in coils that is greater than 9.5 mm in width and less than 4.75 mm in thickness, and that is annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled. The subject sheet and strip may also be further processed (e.g., cold-rolled, polished, aluminized, coated, etc.) provided that it maintains the specific dimensions of sheet and strip following such processing.

The merchandise subject to this order is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) at subheadings: 7219.13.00.30, 7219.13.00.50, 7219.13.00.70, 7219.13.00.80, 7219.14.00.30, 7219.14.00.65, 7219.14.00.90, 7219.32.00.05, 7219.32.00.20, 7219.32.00.25, 7219.32.00.35, 7219.32.00.36, 7219.32.00.38, 7219.32.00.42, 7219.32.00.44, 7219.33.00.05, 7219.33.00.20, 7219.33.00.25, 7219.33.00.35, 7219.33.00.36, 7219.33.00.38, 7219.33.00.42, 7219.33.00.44, 7219.34.00.05, 7219.34.00.20, 7219.34.00.25, 7219.34.00.30, 7219.34.00.35, 7219.35.00.05, 7219.35.00.15, 7219.35.00.30, 7219.35.00.35, 7219.90.00.10, 7219.90.00.20, 7219.90.00.25, 7219.90.00.60, 7219.90.00.80, 7220.12.10.00, 7220.12.50.00, 7220.20.10.10, 7220.20.10.15, 7220.20.10.60, 7220.20.10.80, 7220.20.60.05, 7220.20.60.10, 7220.20.60.15, 7220.20.60.60, 7220.20.60.80, 7220.20.70.05, 7220.20.70.10, 7220.20.70.15, 7220.20.70.60, 7220.20.70.80, 7220.20.80.00, 7220.20.90.30, 7220.20.90.60, 7220.90.00.10, 7220.90.00.15, 7220.90.00.60, and 7220.90.00.80. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the Department's written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

Excluded from the scope of this order are the following: (1) Sheet and strip that is not annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled, (2) sheet and strip that is cut to length, (3) plate (i.e., flat-rolled stainless steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more), (4) flat wire (i.e., cold-rolled sections, with a prepared edge, rectangular in shape, of a width of not more than 9.5 mm), and (5) razor blade steel. Razor blade steel is a flat-rolled product of stainless steel, not further worked than cold-rolled (cold-reduced), in coils, of a width of not more than 23 mm and a thickness of 0.266 mm or less, containing, by weight, 12.5 to 14.5 percent chromium, and certified at the time of entry to be used in the manufacture of razor blades. See Chapter 72 of the HTS, “Additional U.S. Note” 1(d).

Flapper valve steel is also excluded from the scope of the order. This product is defined as stainless steel strip in coils containing, by weight, between 0.37 and 0.43 percent carbon, between 1.15 and 1.35 percent molybdenum, and between 0.20 and 0.80 percent manganese. This steel also contains, by weight, phosphorus of 0.025 percent or less, silicon of between 0.20 and 0.50 percent, and sulfur of 0.020 percent or less. The product is manufactured by means of vacuum arc remelting, with inclusion controls for sulphide of no more than 0.04 percent and for oxide of no more than 0.05 percent. Flapper valve steel has a tensile strength of between 210 and 300 ksi, yield strength of between 170 and 270 ksi, plus or minus 8 ksi, and a hardness (Hv) of between 460 and 590. Flapper valve steel is most commonly used to produce specialty flapper valves in compressors.

Also excluded is a product referred to as suspension foil, a specialty steel product used in the manufacture of suspension assemblies for computer disk drives. Suspension foil is described as 302/304 grade or 202 grade stainless steel of a thickness between 14 and 127 microns, with a thickness tolerance of plus-or-minus 2.01 microns, and surface glossiness of 200 to 700 percent Gs. Suspension foil must be supplied in coil widths of not more than 407 mm, and with a mass of 225 kg or less. Roll marks may only be visible on one side, with no scratches of measurable depth. The material must exhibit residual stresses of 2 mm maximum deflection, and flatness of 1.6 mm over 685 mm length.

Certain stainless steel foil for automotive catalytic converters is also excluded from the scope of this order. This stainless steel strip in coils is a specialty foil with a thickness of between 20 and 110 microns used to produce a metallic substrate with a honeycomb structure for use in automotive catalytic converters. The Start Printed Page 43185steel contains, by weight, carbon of no more than 0.030 percent, silicon of no more than 1.0 percent, manganese of no more than 1.0 percent, chromium of between 19 and 22 percent, aluminum of no less than 5.0 percent, phosphorus of no more than 0.045 percent, sulfur of no more than 0.03 percent, lanthanum of less than 0.002 or greater than 0.05 percent, and total rare earth elements of more than 0.06 percent, with the balance iron.

Permanent magnet iron-chromium-cobalt alloy stainless strip is also excluded from the scope of this order. This ductile stainless steel strip contains, by weight, 26 to 30 percent chromium, and 7 to 10 percent cobalt, with the remainder of iron, in widths 228.6 mm or less, and a thickness between 0.127 and 1.270 mm. It exhibits magnetic remanence between 9,000 and 12,000 gauss, and a coercivity of between 50 and 300 oersteds. This product is most commonly used in electronic sensors and is currently available under proprietary trade names such as “Arnokrome III.” [1]

Certain electrical resistance alloy steel is also excluded from the scope of this order. This product is defined as a non-magnetic stainless steel manufactured to American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification B344 and containing, by weight, 36 percent nickel, 18 percent chromium, and 46 percent iron, and is most notable for its resistance to high temperature corrosion. It has a melting point of 1390 degrees Celsius and displays a creep rupture limit of 4 kilograms per square millimeter at 1000 degrees Celsius. This steel is most commonly used in the production of heating ribbons for circuit breakers and industrial furnaces, and in rheostats for railway locomotives. The product is currently available under proprietary trade names such as “Gilphy 36.” [2]

Certain martensitic precipitation-hardenable stainless steel is also excluded from the scope of this order. This high-strength, ductile stainless steel product is designated under the Unified Numbering System (UNS) as S45500-grade steel, and contains, by weight, 11 to 13 percent chromium and 7 to 10 percent nickel. Carbon, manganese, silicon and molybdenum each comprise, by weight, 0.05 percent or less, with phosphorus and sulfur each comprising, by weight, 0.03 percent or less. This steel has copper, niobium, and titanium added to achieve aging, and will exhibit yield strengths as high as 1700 Mpa and ultimate tensile strengths as high as 1750 Mpa after aging, with elongation percentages of 3 percent or less in 50 mm. It is generally provided in thicknesses between 0.635 and 0.787 mm, and in widths of 25.4 mm. This product is most commonly used in the manufacture of television tubes and is currently available under proprietary trade names such as “Durphynox 17.” [3]

Finally, three specialty stainless steels typically used in certain industrial blades and surgical and medical instruments are also excluded from the scope of this order. These include stainless steel strip in coils used in the production of textile cutting tools (e.g., carpet knives).[4] This steel is similar to AISI grade 420 but containing, by weight, 0.5 to 0.7 percent of molybdenum. The steel also contains, by weight, carbon of between 1.0 and 1.1 percent, sulfur of 0.020 percent or less, and includes between 0.20 and 0.30 percent copper and between 0.20 and 0.50 percent cobalt. This steel is sold under proprietary names such as “GIN4 Mo.” The second excluded stainless steel strip in coils is similar to AISI 420-J2 and contains, by weight, carbon of between 0.62 and 0.70 percent, silicon of between 0.20 and 0.50 percent, manganese of between 0.45 and 0.80 percent, phosphorus of no more than 0.025 percent and sulfur of no more than 0.020 percent. This steel has a carbide density on average of 100 carbide particles per 100 square microns. An example of this product is “GIN5” steel. The third specialty steel has a chemical composition similar to AISI 420 F, with carbon of between 0.37 and 0.43 percent, molybdenum of between 1.15 and 1.35 percent, but lower manganese of between 0.20 and 0.80 percent, phosphorus of no more than 0.025 percent, silicon of between 0.20 and 0.50 percent, and sulfur of no more than 0.020 percent. This product is supplied with a hardness of more than Hv 500 guaranteed after customer processing, and is supplied as, for example, “GIN6.” [5]

Scope of Changed Circumstances Review

The product subject to this changed circumstances antidumping duty administrative review is a permanent magnet iron-chromium-cobalt stainless steel strip containing, by weight, 13 percent chromium, 6 percent cobalt, 71 percent iron, 6 percent nickel and 4 percent molybdenum. The product is supplied in widths up to 1.27 cm (12.7 mm), inclusive, with a thickness between 45 and 75 microns, inclusive. This product exhibits magnetic remanence between 400 and 780 nWb, and coercivity of between 60 and 100 oersteds. This product is currently supplied under the trade name “SemiVac 90.”

Initiation of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Intent To Revoke Order in Part

Pursuant to sections 751(d)(1) and 782(h)(2) of the Tariff Act, the Department may revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, in whole or in part, based on a review under section 751(b) of the Tariff Act (i.e., a changed circumstances review) where the Department determines that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of that domestic like product have expressed a lack of interest in continuance of an order. Section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act requires a changed circumstances review to be conducted upon receipt of a request which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review. Section 351.222(g) of the Department's regulations provides that the Department will conduct a changed circumstances administrative review under 19 CFR 351.216, and may revoke an order (in whole or in part), if it determines that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product to which the order pertains have expressed a lack of interest in the relief provided by the order, in whole or in part, or if other changed circumstances sufficient to warrant revocation exist. In addition, in the event that the Department concludes that expedited action is warranted, 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii) permits the Department to combine the notices of initiation and preliminary results.

In accordance with sections 751(d)(1) and 782(h)(2) of the Tariff Act, and 19 CFR 351.216 and 351.222(g), domestic producers of the like product, Allegheny Ludlum Corporation, Armco, Inc., J&L Specialty Steel, Inc., Washington Steel Division of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO/CLC, Butler Armco Independent Union, and Zanesville Armco Independent Organization, have made affirmative statements that no further interest exists in continuing the order with respect to the permanent magnet iron-chromium-cobalt stainless steel strip product known as SemiVac 90 described above (see petitioners' July Start Printed Page 431865, 2001 letter to the Department). Accordingly, we are initiating this changed circumstances administrative review. Furthermore, because petitioners have expressed a lack of interest, we determine expedited action is warranted, and we preliminarily determine that continued application of the order with respect to the specific stainless steel strip product at issue is no longer of interest to domestic interested parties. Because we have concluded that expedited action is warranted, we are combining these notices of initiation and preliminary results.

Therefore, we are hereby notifying the public of our intent to revoke in part the antidumping duty order with respect to imports of the specialty magnet stainless steel strip product from Germany, currently supplied as SemiVac 90, meeting the specifications outlined above.

If the final revocation in part occurs, we intend to instruct the U.S. Customs Service to liquidate without regard to antidumping duties, as applicable, and to refund any estimated antidumping duties collected for all unliquidated entries of certain stainless steel strip products meeting the specifications indicated above, not subject to final results of administrative review as of the date of publication in the Federal Register of the final results of this changed circumstances review, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.222(g)(4). We will also instruct the Customs Service to pay interest on such refunds in accordance with section 778 of the Tariff Act. The current requirement for a cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties on certain stainless steel strip products meeting the above specifications will continue unless and until we publish a final determination to revoke in part.

Public Comment

Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results. Parties who submit argument in this proceeding are requested to submit with the argument (i) a statement of the issue, and (ii) a brief summary of the argument. Parties to the proceedings may request a hearing within 14 days of publication of this notice. Any hearing, if requested, will be held no later than two days after the deadline for the submission of rebuttal briefs, or the first workday thereafter. Case briefs may be submitted by interested parties not later than 14 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs and rebuttals to written comments, limited to the issues raised in those comments, may be filed not later than five days after the deadline for submission of case briefs. All written comments shall be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303 and shall be served on all interested parties on the Department's service list in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303. Persons interested in attending the hearing should contact the Department for the date and time of the hearing.

The Department intends to publish in the Federal Register the final results of this changed circumstances review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised in any written comments, no later than 45 days after the date of publication of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.216(e).

This notice is published in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act and 19 CFR 351.216 and 351.222.

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Dated: August 10, 2001.

Faryar Shirzad,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  “Arnokrome III” is a trademark of the Arnold Engineering Company.

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2.  “Gilphy 36” is a trademark of Imphy, S.A.

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3.  “Durphynox 17” is a trademark of Imphy, S.A.

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4.  This list of uses is illustrative and provided for descriptive purposes only.

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5.  “GIN4 Mo,” “GIN5” and “GIN6” are the proprietary grades of Hitachi Metals Armerica, Ltd.

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[FR Doc. 01-20836 Filed 8-16-01; 8:45 am]

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