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Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils From Italy: Final Results of the Full Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

On June 1, 2004, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) initiated a sunset review of the countervailing duty (“CVD”) order on stainless steel sheet and strip in coils (“SSSS”) from Italy pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 69 FR 30874 (June 1, 2004). On the basis of a notice of intent to participate and an adequate substantive response filed on behalf of the interested parties, the Department conducted a full (240-day) sunset review. As a result of this review, the Department finds that revocation of the CVD order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of subsidies at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

May 4, 2005.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hilary Sadler, Esq., Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4340.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On June 1, 2004, the Department initiated a sunset review of the CVD order on SSSS from Italy pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act. See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 69 FR 30874 (June 1, 2004). On December 29, 2004, the Department published the preliminary results of the full sunset review of the CVD on SSSS from Italy. See Notice of Preliminary Results of Full Sunset Review: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from Italy (“preliminary sunset review results”), 69 FR 78091 (December 29, 2004) and the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Full Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from Italy: Preliminary Results (“preliminary results decision memorandum”) dated December 29, 2004.[1] In our preliminary sunset review results, we found that benefits from the following programs would likely continue or recur were the order revoked:

(1) Law 675/77;

(2) Law 451/94 Early Retirement Benefits; and

(3) European Social Fund.

On February 8, 2005, the Department received a joint case brief from the Government of Italy (GOI) and the European Commission (EC). See Case Brief from the EC and the GOI re: Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from Italy (February 8, 2005) including separate GOI and EC Attachments. The Department also received a case brief from ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni, S.p.A. (“TKAST”) (formerly Acciai Speciali Terni, S.p.A.) in a timely manner. See Case Brief from TKAST re: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from Italy (Sunset) (February 8, 2005). The Department did not receive a case brief from the domestic interested parties but did receive a rebuttal brief to the case briefs submitted by the GOI, EC and TKAST. See Rebuttal Brief from Petitioners re: Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from Italy (February 14, 2005).

Scope of the Order

The product covered by this order is certain stainless steel sheet and strip in Start Printed Page 23095coils. 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 these orders is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) at the following subheadings: 7219.13.00.30, 7219.13.00.50, 7219.13.00.70, 7219.13.00.80, 7219.14.00.30, 7219.14.00.65, 7219.14.00.90, 7219.32.00.05, 7219.32.00.20, 7219.32.00.25, 7219.32.00.35, 7219.32.00.36, 7219.32.00.38, 7219.32.00.42, 7219.32.00.44, 7219.33.00.05, 7219.33.00.20, 7219.33.00.25, 7219.33.00.35, 7219.33.00.36, 7219.33.00.38, 7219.33.00.42, 7219.33.00.44, 7219.34.00.05, 7219.34.00.20, 7219.34.00.25, 7219.34.00.30, 7219.34.00.35, 7219.35.00.05, 7219.35.00.15, 7219.35.00.30, 7219.35.00.35, 7219.90.00.10, 7219.90.00.20, 7219.90.00.25, 7219.90.00.60, 7219.90.00.80, 7220.12.10.00, 7220.12.50.00, 7220.20.10.10, 7220.20.10.15, 7220.20.10.60, 7220.20.10.80, 7220.20.60.05, 7220.20.60.10, 7220.20.60.15, 7220.20.60.60, 7220.20.60.80, 7220.20.70.05, 7220.20.70.10, 7220.20.70.15, 7220.20.70.60, 7220.20.70.80, 7220.20.80.00, 7220.20.90.30, 7220.20.90.60, 7220.90.00.10, 7220.90.00.15, 7220.90.00.60, and 7220.90.00.80. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the Department's written description of the merchandise covered by these orders is dispositive.

Excluded from the scope of these orders 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).

In response to comments by interested parties the Department has determined that certain specialty stainless steel products are also excluded from the scope of these orders. These excluded products are described below:

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 valve 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 micros, 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 these orders. The stainless 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 these orders. 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 these orders. 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. This 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 these orders. 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 of less in 50 mm. It is generally provided in thicknesses between 0.635 and 0.787 mm, and in widths of 25.4 Start Printed Page 23096mm. This product is most commonly used in the manufacture of television tubes 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 these orders. These include stainless steal 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”. “GIN4 Mo,” “ GIN5” and “GIN6” are the proprietary grades of Hitachi Metals America, Ltd.

Analysis of Comments Received

All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum (“Decision Memorandum”) from Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting director, Office of Policy, Import Administration, to Joseph A. Spetrini, Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, dated April 27, 2005, which is hereby adopted by this notice. The issues discussed in the accompanying Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidies and the net countervailable subsidy likely to prevail were the order revoked. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum which is on file in the Central Records Unit, room B-099, of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Web at http://ia.ita.doc.gov/​frn, under the heading “May 2005.” The paper copy and electronic version of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Final Results of Review

We determine that revocation of the countervailing duty order on SSSS from Italy would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidies at the rate listed below:

Producer/exportersNet countervailable subsidy (percent)
TKAST0.73
Arinoxde minimis.
All Others0.73

Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

This notice also serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 of the Department's regulations. Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is violation which is subject to sanction.

We are issuing and publishing the results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752, and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

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Dated: April 27, 2005.

Barbara E. Tillman,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  For a full discussion of the history of this order prior to the preliminary results of this sunset review, see the December 29, 2004 preliminary results decision memorandum.

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

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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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[FR Doc. 05-8910 Filed 5-3-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-M