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Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Intent to Revoke Order in Part: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from Japan

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

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

SUMMARY:

In accordance with section 751(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and section 351.216(b) of the Department of Commerce's (the Department's) regulations, NKK Corporation (NKK) and Mitsubishi International Steel, Inc. (MISI) filed a request for a changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order on certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate products (CTL plate) from Japan. Specifically, NKK and MISI request that the Department revoke the antidumping duty order with respect to two abrasion-resistant steel products produced by NKK that are described below. The domestic industry has affirmatively expressed no interest in the continuation of the order with respect to these products. In response to the request, the Department is initiating a changed circumstances review and issuing a notice of intent to revoke, in part, the antidumping duty order on CTL plate from Japan. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

January 10, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jack K. Dulberger or Mark Manning, AD/CVD Enforcement, Group II, Office 4, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-5505 and (202) 482-5253, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On November 27, 2002, NKK and MISI requested that the Department revoke the antidumping duty order on CTL plate from Japan with respect to two abrasion-resistant steel products produced by NKK: “NK-EH-360 (NK Everhard 360)” and “NK-EH-500 (NK Everhard 500).” See NKK's and MISI's letter to the Secretary, dated November 27, 2002 (Changed Circumstances Review Request). Specifically, NKK and MISI request that the Department revoke the order with respect to imports meeting the following detailed product descriptions: (1) NK-EH-360: a) Physical Properties: thickness ranging from 6-50 mm, Brinell Hardness: 361 min.; b) Heat Treatment: controlled heat treatment; and c) Chemical Composition (percent weight): C: 0.20 max., Si: 0.55 max., Mn: 1.60 max., P: 0.030 max., S: 0.030 max., Start Printed Page 1437Cr: 0.40 max., Ti: 0.005-0.020, B: 0.004 max; and (2) NK-EH-500: a) Physical Properties: thickness ranging from 6-50 mm, Brinell Hardness: 477 min.; b) Heat Treatment: controlled heat treatment; and c) Chemical Composition (percent weight): C: 0.35 max., Si: 0.55 max., Mn: 1.60 max., P: 0.030 max., S: 0.030 max., Cr: 0.80 max., Ti: 0.005-0.020, B: 0.004 max. See Changed Circumstances Review Request at 2. The order with regard to imports of other CTL plate from Japan is not affected by this request.

On December 17 and 18, 2002, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, IPSCO Steel Inc., Nucor Corporation, and United States Steel Corporation, producers of the domestic like product and, with the exception of Nucor Corporation, petitioners in the antidumping duty investigation of CTL plate from Japan, stated that they do not object to the exclusion of these two NKK products from the scope of the order. See Memorandum to the File from Jack Dulberger, dated December 19, 2002, which is on file in Import Administration's Central Records Unit, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Room B-099, Washington, DC 20230.

Scope of the Order

The products covered by this antidumping duty order are certain hot-rolled carbon-quality steel: (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a nominal or actual thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are cut-to-length (not in coils) and without patterns in relief), of iron or non-alloy-quality steel; and (2) flat-rolled products, hot-rolled, of a nominal or actual thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are cut-to-length (not in coils). Steel products to be included in the scope of the order are of rectangular, square, circular or other shape and of rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process (i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling”)-for example, products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges. Steel products that meet the noted physical characteristics that are painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances are included within this scope. Also, specifically included in the scope of the order are high strength, low alloy (HSLA) steels. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Steel products to be included in this scope, regardless of Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions, are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements, (2) the carbon content is two percent or less, by weight, and (3) none of the elements listed below is equal to or exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated: 1.80 percent of manganese, or 1.50 percent of silicon, or 1.00 percent of copper, or 0.50 percent of aluminum, or 1.25 percent of chromium, or 0.30 percent of cobalt, or 0.40 percent of lead, or 1.25 percent of nickel, or 0.30 percent of tungsten, or 0.10 percent of molybdenum, or 0.10 percent of niobium, or 0.41 percent of titanium, or 0.15 percent of vanadium, or 0.15 percent zirconium. All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not equal or exceed any one of the levels listed above, are within the scope of the order unless otherwise specifically excluded. The following products are specifically excluded from the order: (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances; (2) SAE grades (formerly AISI grades) of series 2300 and above; (3) products made to ASTM A710 and A736 or their proprietary equivalents; (4) abrasion-resistant steels (i.e., USS AR 400, USS AR 500); (5) products made to ASTM A202, A225, A514 grade S, A517 grade S, or their proprietary equivalents; (6) ball bearing steels; (7) tool steels; and (8) silicon manganese steel or silicon electric steel.

The merchandise subject to the order is classified in the HTSUS under subheadings: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7225.40.3050, 7225.40.7000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.91.5000, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, 7226.99.0000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise covered by the order is dispositive.

Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Intent to Revoke, in Part

Section 751(d)(1) of the Act and section 351.222 (g) of the Department's regulations provide that the Department may revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, in whole or in part, after conducting a changed circumstances review and concluding from the available information that changed circumstances sufficient to warrant revocation or termination exist. The Department may conclude that changed circumstances sufficient to warrant revocation (in whole or in part) exist when 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 order, in whole or in part. See section 782(h) of the Act and section 351.222 (g)(1) of the Department's regulations. Based on affirmative statements by domestic producers of the like product, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, IPSCO Steel Inc., Nucor Corporation, and United States Steel Corporation, no interest exists in continuing the order with respect to the abrasion-resistant steel products (i.e., NK-EH-360 and NK-EH-500) that meet the specifications listed above in the “Background” section of this notice.

Therefore, we are hereby notifying the public of our intent to revoke, in part, the antidumping duty order on CTL plate from Japan with respect to imports of two abrasion-resistant steel products (i.e., NK-EH-360 and NK-EH-500) that meet the above-mentioned specifications. We intend to modify the scope of the order on CTL plate from Japan to read as follows:

The products covered by this antidumping duty order are certain hot-rolled carbon-quality steel: (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a nominal or actual thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are cut-to-length (not in coils) and without patterns in relief), of iron or non-alloy-quality steel; and (2) flat-rolled products, hot-rolled, of a nominal or actual thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are cut-to-length (not in coils). Steel products to be included in the scope of these orders are of rectangular, square, circular or other shape and of rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is Start Printed Page 1438achieved subsequent to the rolling process (i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling”)-for example, products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges. Steel products that meet the noted physical characteristics that are painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances are included within this scope. Also, specifically included in the scope of these orders are high strength, low alloy (HSLA) steels. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Steel products to be included in this scope, regardless of Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions, are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements, (2) the carbon content is two percent or less, by weight, and (3) none of the elements listed below is equal to or exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated: 1.80 percent of manganese, or 1.50 percent of silicon, or 1.00 percent of copper, or 0.50 percent of aluminum, or 1.25 percent of chromium, or 0.30 percent of cobalt, or 0.40 percent of lead, or 1.25 percent of nickel, or 0.30 percent of tungsten, or 0.10 percent of molybdenum, or 0.10 percent of niobium, or 0.41 percent of titanium, or 0.15 percent of vanadium, or 0.15 percent zirconium. All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not equal or exceed any one of the levels listed above, are within the scope of these orders unless otherwise specifically excluded. The following products are specifically excluded from these orders: (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances; (2) SAE grades (formerly AISI grades) of series 2300 and above; (3) products made to ASTM A710 and A736 or their proprietary equivalents; (4) abrasion-resistant steels (i.e., USS AR 400, USS AR 500, NK-EH-360 (NK Everhard 360), NK-EH-500 (NK Everhard 500)). (NK-EH-360 has the following specifications: a) Physical Properties: thickness ranging from 6-50 mm, Brinell Hardness: 361 min.; b) Heat Treatment: controlled heat treatment; and c) Chemical Composition (percent weight): C: 0.20 max., Si: 0.55 max., Mn: 1.60 max., P: 0.030 max., S: 0.030 max., Cr: 0.40 max., Ti: 0.005-0.020, B: 0.004 max. NK-EH-500 has the following specifications: a) Physical Properties: thickness ranging from 6-50 mm, Brinell Hardness: 477 min.; b) Heat Treatment: controlled heat treatment; and c) Chemical Composition (percent weight): C: 0.35 max., Si: 0.55 max., Mn: 1.60 max., P: 0.030 max., S: 0.030 max., Cr: 0.80 max., Ti: 0.005-0.020, B: 0.004 max); (5) products made to ASTM A202, A225, A514 grade S, A517 grade S, or their proprietary equivalents; (6) ball bearing steels; (7) tool steels; and (8) silicon manganese steel or silicon electric steel.

The merchandise subject to these orders is classified in the HTSUS under subheadings: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7225.40.3050, 7225.40.7000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.91.5000, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, 7226.99.0000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise covered by these orders is dispositive.

Furthermore, pursuant to section 351.221(c)(3)(ii) of the Department's regulations, because domestic producers have expressed a lack of interest, we determine that expedited action is warranted and have combined in this notice the notices of initiation and preliminary results.

If the final partial revocation occurs, we intend to instruct the U.S. Customs Service (Customs) to liquidate without regard to applicable antidumping duties, and refund any estimated antidumping duties collected on, all unliquidated entries of the two abrasion-resistant steel products (i.e., NK-EH-360 and NK-EH-500) that meet the above-noted specifications entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after February 1, 2002. We will also instruct Customs to pay interest on such refunds with respect to the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after February 1, 2002, in accordance with section 778 of the Act. The current requirement for a cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties on the two abrasion-resistant steel products (i.e., NK-EH-360 and NK-EH-500), and meeting the above-noted 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 (1) a statement of the issue, and (2) a brief summary of the argument. Also, interested parties may request a hearing within 10 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 and/or written comments may be submitted by interested parties not later than 14 days after the date of publication of this notice. Pursuant to section 351.309(d)(1) of the Department's regulations, 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 section 351.303 of the Department's regulations and shall be served on all interested parties on the Department's service list. Persons interested in attending the hearing should contact the Department for the date and time of the hearing. The Department will issue the final results of this review within the time limits established in section 351.216 (e) of its regulations.

This notice is published in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act and sections 351.216 and 351.222 of the Department's regulations.

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Dated: January 3, 2003.

Faryar Shirzad,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-524 Filed 1-9-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-S