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Notice

Anhydrous Sodium Metasilicate from France: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

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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 from a domestic interested party, the Department of Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on anhydrous sodium metasilicate from France for the period January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2002.

We have preliminarily determined a dumping margin in this review. If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of this administrative review, we will instruct the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to assess antidumping duties on subject merchandise manufactured or exported by Rhodia HPCII.

We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

July 28, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Lehman or Richard Rimlinger, AD/CVD Enforcement Group I, Office 3, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230; telephone: 202-482-0180 or 202-482-4477, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On January 2, 2003, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published a notice of “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” (68 FR 80) with respect to the antidumping duty order on anhydrous sodium metasilicate (ASM) from France. The petitioner, PQ Corporation, requested a review of Rhodia HPCII (Rhodia) on January 30, 2003. In response to PQ Corporation's request, the Department published a notice of initiation of an administrative review on February 27, 2003 (68 FR 9048).

Scope of Order

Imports covered by the review are shipments of ASM, a crystallized silicate which is alkaline and readily soluble in water. Applications include waste paper de-inking, ore-flotation, bleach stabilization, clay processing, medium or heavy duty cleaning, and compounding into other detergent formulations. This merchandise is classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedules (HTS) item numbers 2839.11.00 and 2839.19.00. The HTS item numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description remains dispositive.

Period of Review

The period of review is from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2002.

Facts Available

Section 776(a)(2) of the Act provides that, if an interested party 1) withholds information that has been requested by the Department, 2) fails to provide such information in a timely matter or in the form or manner requested, subject to sections 782(c)(1) and (e) of the Act, 3) significantly impedes a determination under the antidumping statute, or 4) provides such information but the information cannot be verified as provided in section 782(i) of the Act, then the Department shall, subject to section 782(d) of the Act, use facts otherwise available in determining the dumping margin.

The Department sent Rhodia a questionnaire on March 3, 2003, with a deadline of April 9, 2003, for providing information necessary to conduct a review of any shipments that the firm may have made to the United States during the period of review. Rhodia did not respond to our original questionnaire. We sent a follow-up letter to the company on April 24, 2003, but Rhodia did not respond. Because Rhodia has withheld information we requested and has, in fact, made no effort to participate in this proceeding, we must, pursuant to sections 776(a)(2)(A) and (D) of the Act, use facts otherwise available to determine its dumping margin.

Based on the lack of any response from Rhodia, we find that the company has failed to cooperate by not acting to the best of its ability to comply with a request for information. Therefore, pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act, the Department may use an inference that is adverse to the interests of Rhodia in selecting from among the facts otherwise available. This section also provides that an adverse inference may include reliance on information derived from the petition, the final determination in the investigation segment of the proceeding, a previous review under section 751 of the Act or a determination under section 753 of the Act, or any other information placed on the record. In addition, the Statement of Administrative Action accompanying the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, H.R. Doc. 316, Vol. 1, 103d Cong. (1994) (SAA), establishes that the Department may employ an adverse inference “to ensure that the party does not obtain a more favorable result by failing to cooperate that if it had cooperated fully.” SAA at 870. In employing adverse inferences, the Department is instructed to consider “the extent to which a party may benefit from its own lack of cooperation.” See Roller Chain Other Than Bicycle, From Japan; Notice of Final Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 62 FR 69477 (November 10, 1997), and Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Thailand; Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review, 62 FR 53808, 53820-21 (October 16, 1997). Because we find that Rhodia failed to cooperate by not complying with our request for information and in order to ensure that it does not benefit from its lack of cooperation, we are employing an adverse inference in selecting from the facts available.

The Department's practice when selecting an adverse rate from among the possible sources of information has been to ensure that the margin is sufficiently adverse “as to effectuate the purpose of the facts available rule to induce respondents to provide the Department with complete and accurate information in a timely manner.” See Static Random Access Memory Semiconductors from Taiwan; Final Determination of Sales as Less Than Fair Value, 63 FR 8909, 8932 (February 23, 1998).

In order to ensure that the rate is sufficiently adverse so as to induce Rhodia's cooperation, we have assigned this company as adverse facts available a rate of 60.0 percent, the margin calculated in the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation using information provided by Rhodia (then, Rhone-Poulenc, S.A.) (see Anhydrous Sodium Metasilicate from France; Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 45 FR 77498 (November 24, 1980)). This rate is currently applicable to Rhodia.

Section 776(c) of the Act provides that the Department shall, to the extent practicable, corroborate secondary information used for facts available by reviewing independent sources reasonably at its disposal. Information from a prior segment of the proceeding, such as that used here, constitutes secondary information. The SAA Start Printed Page 44284provides that to “corroborate” means simply that the Department will satisfy itself that the secondary information to be used here has probative value. SAA at 870. As explained in Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, from Japan, and Tapered Roller Bearings, Four Inches or Less in Outside Diameter, and Components Thereof, from Japan; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews and Partial Termination of Administrative Reviews, 61 FR 57391, 57392 (November 6, 1996), to corroborate secondary information, the Department will examine, to the extent practicable, the reliability and relevance of the information used.

Unlike other types of information, such as input costs or selling expenses, there are no independent sources from which the Department can derive calculated dumping margins; the only source for margins is administrative determinations. In an administrative review, if the Department chooses as total adverse facts available a calculated dumping margin from a prior segment of the proceeding, it is not necessary to question the reliability of the margin for that time period.

With respect to the relevance aspect of corroboration, however, the Department will consider information reasonably at its disposal as to whether there are circumstances that would render a margin not relevant. Where circumstance indicate that the selected margin is not appropriate as adverse facts available, the Department will disregard the margin and determine an appropriate margin. See Fresh Cut Flowers from Mexico; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 61 FR 6812 (February 22, 1996) (where the Department disregarded the highest dumping margin as adverse best information available because the margin was based on another company's uncharacteristic business expense resulting in an unusually high margin). There is no evidence of circumstances indicating that the margin used as facts available in this review is not appropriate. Therefore, the requirements of section 776(c) of the Act are satisfied.

Preliminary Results of the Review

As a result of this review, the Department preliminarily determines that a margin of 60 percent exists for Rhodia for the period January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2002.

Interested parties may request a hearing not later than 30 days after publication of this notice. Interested parties may also submit written arguments in case briefs on these preliminary results within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with each argument a statement of the issue and a brief summary of the argument. Any hearing, if requested, will be held three days after the scheduled date for submission of rebuttal briefs.

The Department will publish the final results of this administrative review, including a discussion of its analysis of issues raised in any case or rebuttal brief or at a hearing. The Department will issue final results of this review within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results.

Upon completion of the final results of this review, the Department shall determine, and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. The rate will be assessed uniformly on all entries of Rhodia merchandise made during the period of review. The Department will issue appraisement instructions for Rhodia merchandise directly to the BCBP.

Furthermore, the following deposit rates will be effective for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided for by section 751(a)(1) of the Act: (1) the cash-deposit rate for Rhodia will be the rate established in the final results of this review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash-deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original LTFV 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) for all other producers and/or exporters of this merchandise, the cash-deposit rate shall be 60.0 percent, the “all others” rate established in the LTFV investigation (45 FR 77498, November 24, 1980). This deposit rate, when imposed, shall remain in effect until publication of the final results of the next administrative review.

This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) 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.

We are issuing and publishing this determination in accordance with section 751(a)(1) and section 777(i)(1) of the Act.

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Dated: June 26, 2003.

Joseph A. Spetrini,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-19143 Filed 7-25-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-S