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Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation: Hydraulic Magnetic Circuit Breakers from South Africa

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Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.


May 12, 2003.

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Fred W. Aziz, Thomas Schauer, or Richard Rimlinger, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Start Printed Page 25333U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4023, (202) 482-0410 or (202) 482-4477, respectively.

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The Petition

On April 14, 2003, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) received a petition on imports of hydraulic magnetic circuit breakers (“HMCBs”) from South Africa filed in proper form by Airpax Corporation, LLC (referred to hereafter as “the petitioner”). On April 22, 2003, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the petition. The petitioner filed a supplement to the petition on April 25, 2003.

In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the petitioner alleges that imports of HMCBs from South Africa are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring and threaten to injure an industry in the United States.

The Department finds that the petitioner filed this petition on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(c) of the Act. Furthermore, with respect to the antidumping duty investigation the petitioner is requesting the Department to initiate, it has demonstrated sufficient industry support (see “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” below).

Scope of Investigation

This investigation covers all hydraulic magnetic circuit breakers (sometimes referred to as magnetic hydraulic) circuit breakers (“HMCBs”), incorporating a tripping means of a magnetic coil surrounding a tube and plunger, restrained by air, liquid or spring, whether or not sealed, whether or not of molded case, of any voltage less than 72.5 kilovolts, of any amperage rating, with single or multiple poles, of any mounting or connection means and of any terminal type, whether or not having a magnetic latch, and excluding thermal and thermal magnetic circuit breakers. The subject merchandise is classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings 8535.21.00 and 8536.20.00. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

During our review of the petition, we discussed the scope with the petitioner to ensure that it is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief. Moreover, as discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations (62 FR 27296, 27323), we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage. The Department encourages all interested parties to submit such comments within 20 calendar days of publication of this notice. Comments should be addressed to Import Administration's Central Records Unit at Room 1870, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230. The period of scope consultations is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination.

Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition must be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (1) at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (2) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition.

Section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the administering agency shall: (i) poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition as required by subparagraph (A), or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method.

Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether the petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (“the ITC”), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been materially injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product, they do so for different purposes and pursuant to separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to time and information limitations. Although this may result in different definitions of the domestic like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.1

Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic-like-product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation,” i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition.

In its April 14th petition, petitioner claims it has industry support. The petitioner states that it compromises virtually all U.S. production of HMCBs. However, the petition identifies three additional U.S. entities engaged in the sale of HMCBs in the domestic market. According to the petition, none of the three maintain commercial production in the United States. The petitioner asserts that virtually all of those firms' manufacturing is done in other countries and that any domestic manufacturing is limited to samples in non-commercial quantities. Based on all available information, we agree that the petitioner compromises virtually all domestic commercial production of HMCBs.

Our review of the data provided in the petition and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support representing over 50 percent of total production of the domestic like product, requiring no further action by the Department pursuant to section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act. In addition, the Department received no opposition to the petition from domestic producers of the like product. Therefore, the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, and the requirements of section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) are met. Furthermore, the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product Start Printed Page 25334produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for or opposition to the petition. Thus, the requirements of section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act also are met. Accordingly, the Department determines that the petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

With regard to the definition of domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. On April 30, 2003, Circuit Breaker Industries, Ltd. (“CBI”), a South African producer of the subject merchandise, challenged industry support for the petition pursuant to sections 732(b)(3) and 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act. On May 1, 2003, the petitioner filed its reply to CBI's challenge.

Based on our analysis of the information presented by the petitioner, we have determined that there is a single domestic like product, hydraulic magnetic circuit breakers, which is defined in the “Scope of Investigation” section above, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of this domestic like product. For more information on our analysis and the data upon which we relied, see Import Administration Antidumping Investigation Initiation Checklist (“Initiation Checklist”), Industry Support section and Appendix 1, dated May 5, 2003, on file in the CRU of the main Department of Commerce building.

Period of Investigation

The anticipated period of investigation is April 1, 2002, through March 31, 2003.

Constructed Export Price and Normal Value

The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate this investigation. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and normal value are discussed in greater detail in the Initiation Checklist dated May 5, 2003. Should the need arise to use any of this information as facts available under section 776 of the Act, we may reexamine the information and revise the margin calculations, if appropriate.

Constructed Export Price

The petitioner identified CBI and its affiliate CBI, Inc. (hereinafter “CBI USA”) as the primary producer and importer, respectively, of the subject merchandise. As the sole South African producer of HMCBs, CBI accounts for all exports of HMCBs to the United States from South Africa. Therefore, the petitioner established U.S. price based on constructed exported price (“CEP”). According to the petitioner, CBI's sales in the United States are sold by CBI's subsidiary, CBI USA, which holds inventory in its U.S. warehouse prior to shipment to unaffiliated buyers. In order to obtain ex-factory prices, the petitioner deducted international transportation (by sea) and estimated profit and expense mark-up. Because the petitioner did not provide adequate support for its profit and expense figure, we recalculated the CEPs to not deduct this expense. With this exception, we reviewed the information provided regarding CEP and have determined that it is adequate and accurate and represents information reasonably available to the petitioner (see Initiation Checklist, Re: Less-Than-Fair-Value Allegation).

Because the petitioner provided price quotes for actual products and we determine that these price quotes are sufficient for initiation purposes, we did not use the ITC Dataweb values that petitioner provided to estimate dumping margins. To the extent necessary, we will consider the appropriateness of the petitioner's alternative during the course of this proceeding.

Normal Value

With respect to normal value, the petitioner provided home-market prices at which the foreign like product is offered for sale for consumption in the exporting country, adjusted as required by the statute. These home market prices were obtained directly from CBI, the sole South African producer of the subject merchandise.

In calculating its estimated margins, the petitioner compared prices for single pole B, C, D, and E frame HMCBs sold in the home market with similar products offered for sale in the United States by CBI USA. For purposes of initiation, however, we made an adjustment to the estimated margin calculated for D frame HMCBs. Specifically, the petitioner, in its April 14th petition, compared a home market price for D-frame HMCBs with an amperage rating between 61 and 100 amperes to a U.S. price for D frame HMCBs with an amperage rating between 10 and 50 amperes. Because the petitioner presented the Department with several different home market prices for D frame HMCBs, we have recalculated the estimated margin using the home-market price for D-frame HMCBs with a comparable amperage rating (i.e., between 5 and 60 amperes). See Initiation Checklist, Re: Normal Value.

With this exception, we determined that the information the petitioner used for the calculation of home-market price is adequate and accurate and represents information reasonably available to it.

Fair-Value Comparison

Based on the data provided by the petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of HMCBs from South Africa are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. As a result of the comparison of CEP to normal value, we recalculated estimated dumping margins for imports of HMCBs from South Africa that range from 129.43 percent to 721.95 percent.

Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

The petition alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured and is threatened with material injury by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value. The petitioner contends that its injured condition is evidenced by declining trends in market share, pricing, production levels, profits, sales, and utilization of capacity. Furthermore, the petitioner contends that injury and threat of injury is evidenced by negative effects on its cash flow, ability to raise capital, and growth. These allegations are supported by relevant evidence including import data, lost sales, and pricing information. The Department assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury and causation and determined that these allegations are supported by accurate and adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation (see Initiation Checklist dated May 5, 2003, Re: Material Injury).

Initiation of Antidumping Investigation

Based upon our examination of the petition on HMCBs from South Africa and other information reasonably available to the Department, we find that the petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an antidumping duty investigation to determine whether imports of HMCBs from South Africa are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

Distribution of Copies of the Petition

In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act, a copy of the public version of the petition has been Start Printed Page 25335provided to the representatives of the government of South Africa. We will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the petition to each producer named in the petition, as appropriate.

International Trade Commission Notification

We have notified the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

Preliminary Determination by the ITC

The ITC will preliminarily determine, no later than May 29, 2003, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of HMCBs are causing material injury, or threatening to cause material injury, to a U.S. industry. A negative ITC determination will result in this investigation being terminated; otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

This notice is published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act.

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Dated: May 5, 2003.

Joseph A. Spetrini,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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1.  See Algoma Steel Corp. Ltd., v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 642-44 (CIT 1988); High Information Content Flat Panel Displays and Display Glass from Japan: Final Determination; Rescission of Investigation and Partial Dismissal of Petition, 56 FR 32376, 32380-81 (July 16, 1991).

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[FR Doc. 03-11745 Filed 5-9-03; 8:45 am]