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International Trade Administration, North American Free Trade Agreement, Article 1904 NAFTA Panel Reviews; Notice of Panel Decision

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

NAFTA Secretariat, United States Section, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of panel decision.

SUMMARY:

On September 5, 2003, the binational panel issued its decision in the review of the final results of the injury determination made by the International Trade Commission (ITC) respecting Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada (Secretariat File No. USA-CDA-2002-1904-07) affirmed in part and remanded in part the determination of the International Trade Commission. The Commission will return the determination on remand within 100 days of the decision or no later than December 15, 2003. A copy of the complete panel decision is available from the NAFTA Secretariat.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Caratina L. Alston, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat, Suite Start Printed Page 535492061, 14th and Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-5438.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Chapter 19 of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (“Agreement”) establishes a mechanism to replace domestic judicial review of final determinations in antidumping and countervailing duty cases involving imports from the other country with review by independent binational panels. When a Request for Panel Review is filed, a panel is established to act in place of national courts to review expeditiously the final determination to determine whether it conforms with the antidumping or countervailing duty law of the country that made the determination.

Under Article 1904 of the Agreement, which came into force on January 1, 1994, the Government of the United States, the Government of Canada and the Government of Mexico established Rules of Procedure for Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews (“Rules”). These Rules were published in the Federal Register on February 23, 1994 (59 FR 8686).

Panel Decision: On September 5, 2003, the Binational Panel affirmed in part and remanded in part the International Trade Commission's final injury determination. The following issues were remanded to the Commission:

(1) The Commission's threat of material injury determination is hereby remanded and on remand the Commission should consider, in its analysis of whether there is a threat of material injury to the domestic softwood lumber industry, all of the information and data that it considered in its present material injury determination.

In the course of its analysis, the Commission is also directed to:

(a) Consider in its threat analysis the potential negative effects on the existing development and production efforts of the domestic industry, including efforts to develop a derivative or more advanced version of the domestic like product.

(b) Undertake an analysis to distinguish between the contribution to threat of injury caused by the dumped and subsidized imports and the contribution to threat caused by the domestic industry itself.

(c) Undertake an analysis to determine whether third country imports “may have such a predominant effect in producing the harm as to * * * prevent the [subject] imports from being a material factor” of threat of injury.

(d) Undertake an analysis to distinguish between the contribution to threat of injury caused by the dumped and subsidized imports and the contribution to threat caused by engineered wood products.

(e) Undertake an analysis of the fact that there are constraints on domestic production of softwood lumber in order to distinguish between the contribution to threat of injury caused by the dumped and subsidized imports and the contribution to threat of injury caused by the fact that there are insufficient timber supplies in the United States; and

(f) Undertake an analysis to distinguish between the threat of injury caused by the dumped and subsidized imports and the potential contribution to threat caused by the cyclical nature of the softwood lumber industry.

(2) The Panel remands the Commission's holdings that square-end bed frame components and flangestock are part of the single domestic like product for the continuum of species that comprise softwood lumber and instructs the Commission on remand to consider, based on the existing record evidence, all six like product factors to determine whether square-end bed frame components and flangestock are part of a continuum of softwood lumber products defined as a single domestic like product.

(3) The Panel remands the Commission's decision to cross-cumulate in the context of a threat of material injury determination and instructs the Commission to reconsider its interpretation of the statute with respect to cross-cumulation in the context of a threat determination and, applying the fresh interpretation, reach an appropriate conclusion. In revisiting the questions of how to interpret and apply the statute, the Commission should consider the relevant arguments of the parties and should reach a reasoned conclusion.

The Commission was directed to report its Determination on Remand within one hundred (100) days from the date of this decision or not later than December 15, 2003.

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Dated: September 5, 2003.

Caratina L. Alston,

United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat.

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[FR Doc. 03-23111 Filed 9-10-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-GT-P