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Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils From the Republic of Korea: Notice of Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

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ACTION:

Notice of preliminary results of changed circumstances antidumping duty administrative review.

SUMMARY:

On October 1, 2001, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) published a notice of initiation in the above-named case. As a result of this review, the Department preliminarily finds for the purposes of this proceeding that INI Steel Company is the successor-in-interest to Inchon Iron and Steel Co., Ltd.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

December 31, 2001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cheryl Werner or Laurel LaCivita, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-2667 and (202) 482-4243, respectively.

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 (“the Act”) by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. In addition, unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Department's regulations are to the regulations at 19 CFR Part 351 (2001).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

In an August 6, 2001, letter to the Department, INI Steel Company (“INI”), formerly Inchon Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. (“Inchon”), notified the Department that as of August 1, 2001, Inchon's corporate name had changed to INI Steel Company. INI requested that the Department conduct an expedited changed circumstances review to confirm that INI is the successor-in-interest to Inchon. Since the Department had insufficient information on the record concerning this corporate name change, the Department concluded that it would be inappropriate to conduct an expedited changed circumstances review and issue a preliminary results concurrent with the initiation of a changed circumstance review. Thus the Department published only a notice of initiation. (See Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from the Republic of Korea: Notice of Initiation of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 66 FR 49927 (October 1, 2001) (“Notice of Initiation”). On October 17, 2001, the Department sent a questionnaire to INI requesting more information. On November 7, 2001, the Department received INI's response to the questionnaire. INI provided documentation on the name change requested by the Department consisting of: The minutes of Inchon's July 27, 2001 shareholders' meeting where the name change was approved; the Inchon District Court's official certification of the name change registered on July 31, 2001; INI's Business Registration Certificate issued on August 1, 2001 by the Inchon Tax Office; organization charts before and after the corporate name change; a list of the Board of Directors before and after the corporate name change; and a customer list before and after the name change. INI provided documentation regarding its acquisition of Sammi Steel Co., Ltd. (“Sammi”) including: Notification of Stock Receipt; Notification of Capital Increase with 3rd Party Consideration; Notification of Intent to Participate in Sammi's Capital Increase; Inchon's Shareholders Equity Ratio and Number of Outstanding Stocks as of 2000; Official Notification of Sammi's Graduation from Court Receivership by Bankruptcy Court; Sammi's Board of Directors (At the End of First Half of 2001); Former Inchon Employees Currently Employed by Sammi.

Scope of the Review

For purposes of this changed circumstances review, the products covered 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 review is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheadings: 7219.13.0031, 7219.13.0051, 7219.13.0071, 7219.1300.81, [1] 7219.14.0030, 7219.14.0065, 7219.14.0090, 7219.32.0005, 7219.32.0020, 7219.32.0025, 7219.32.0035, 7219.32.0036, 7219.32.0038, 7219.32.0042, 7219.32.0044, 7219.33.0005, 7219.33.0020, 7219.33.0025, 7219.33.0035, 7219.33.0036, 7219.33.0038, 7219.33.0042, 7219.33.0044, 7219.34.0005, 7219.34.0020, 7219.34.0025, 7219.34.0030, 7219.34.0035, 7219.35.0005, 7219.35.0015, 7219.35.0030, 7219.35.0035, 7219.90.0010, 7219.90.0020, 7219.90.0025, 7219.90.0060, 7219.90.0080, 7220.12.1000, 7220.12.5000, 7220.20.1010, 7220.20.1015, 7220.20.1060, 7220.20.1080, 7220.20.6005, 7220.20.6010, 7220.20.6015, 7220.20.6060, 7220.20.6080, 7220.20.7005, 7220.20.7010, 7220.20.7015, 7220.20.7060, 7220.20.7080, 7220.20.8000, 7220.20.9030, 7220.20.9060, 7220.90.0010, 7220.90.0015, 7220.90.0060, and 7220.90.0080. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the Department's written description of the merchandise under review is dispositive.

Excluded from the scope of this review 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 HTSUS, “Additional U.S. Note” 1(d).

The Department has determined that certain additional specialty stainless steel products are also excluded from the scope of this review. These excluded products are described below.

Flapper value steel is excluded from this review. Flapper valve steel 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 Start Printed Page 67515valve 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 review. 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 steel 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 review. 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.” [2]

Certain electrical resistance alloy steel is also excluded from the scope of this review. 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.” [3]

Certain martensitic precipitation-hardenable stainless steel is also excluded from the scope of this review. 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.” [4]

Finally, three specialty stainless steels typically used in certain industrial blades and surgical and medical instruments are also excluded from the scope of this review. These include stainless steel strip in coils used in the production of textile cutting tools (e.g., carpet knives).[5] 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”.[6]

Preliminary Results

In making successor-in-interest determinations, the Department examines several factors including, but not limited to, changes in: (1) Management; (2) production facilities; (3) supplier relationships; and (4) customer base. See e.g., Brass Sheet and Strip from Canada; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 57 FR 20460, 20461 (May 13, 1992). While no single factor, or combination of factors, will necessarily be dispositive, the Department will generally consider the new company to be the successor to its predecessor company if the resulting operations are essentially the same as the predecessor company. E.g, id. and Industrial Phosphoric Acid from Israel; Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 59 FR 6944, 6945 (February 14, 1994). Thus, if the evidence demonstrates that, with respect to the production and sale of the subject merchandise, the new company operates as the same business entity as its predecessor, the Department will treat the new company as the successor-in-interest to the predecessor.

Based on the information submitted by INI during the course of this changed circumstances review, we preliminarily find that INI is the successor-in-interest to Inchon because we preliminarily find that the company's organizational structure, senior management, production facilities, supplier relationships, and customers have remained essentially unchanged after the name change with respect to the subject merchandise. Furthermore, INI Start Printed Page 67516has provided sufficient internal and public documentation of the name change. If there are no changes in the final results of the changed circumstances review, INI shall retain the antidumping duty deposit rate assigned to Inchon by the Department in the most recent administrative review of the subject merchandise.

Based on the information submitted by INI in reference to its acquisition of Sammi, we preliminarily find that INI and Sammi have not merged and remain separate legal entities. INI stated that it owns 68.42 percent of Sammi's equity, there is only one overlapping member on INI's and Sammi's boards of directors (and is a non-standing director of Sammi), and very few former employees of Inchon are now employed by Sammi. INI also stated that there are no changes at INI in terms of production facilities, production capacity, production lines, facilities or personnel, nor has it acquired or any plans to acquire, production facilities as a result of its acquisition of Sammi's shares. Thus, the Department will continue to treat INI and Sammi as two separate legal entities.

Public Comment

Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310, any interested party may request a hearing within 10 days of publication of this notice. Case briefs and/or written comments from interested parties may be submitted no later than 21 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs and rebuttals comments, limited to the issues raised in those case briefs or comments, may be filed no later than 28 days after the publication of this notice. All written comments must be submitted and served on all interested parties on the Department's service list in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303. Any hearing, if requested, will be held no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice, or the first working day thereafter. Persons interested in attending the hearing should contact the Department for the date and time of the hearing. The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of final results of this changed circumstances antidumping duty administrative review, including the results of its analysis of any issues raised in any written comments.

During the course of this changed circumstances review, we will not change any cash deposit instructions on the merchandise subject to this changed circumstances review, unless a change is determined to be warranted pursuant to the final results of this review.

We are issuing and publishing this finding and notice in accordance with sections 751(b) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3) and 19 CFR 351.216.

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Dated: December 20, 2001.

Faryar Shirzad,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  Due to changes to the HTSUS numbers in 2001, 7219.13.0030, 7219.13.0050, 1719.13.0070, and 7219.13.0080 are now 7219.13.0031, 7219.13.0051, 7219.13.0071, and 7219.13.0081, respectively.

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

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

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

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

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

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[FR Doc. 01-32116 Filed 12-28-01; 8:45 am]

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