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Notice

Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Italy: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Changed Circumstances Review and Intent to Revoke Order

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

On January 4, 2006, in response to a request by domestic producers of the subject merchandise, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) published a notice of initiation of a changed circumstances review of the countervailing duty order on stainless steel plate in coils, as described below. See Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Italy: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Changed Circumstances Review and Notice of Consideration of Revocation of Order, 71 FR 328 (January 4, 2006) (“Initiation Notice”).

In the Initiation Notice, we invited interested parties to comment on the Department's initiation and the proposed revocation of the countervailing duty order on stainless steel plate in coils from Italy. We did not receive any comments. Absent any comments, we preliminarily conclude that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product to which this order pertains lack interest in the relief provided by the order. Therefore, we preliminarily revoke this order, in whole, with respect to products entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after September 4, 1998, i.e., the publication date of the Department's preliminary determination in the underlying investigation, because domestic parties have expressed no interest in the continuation of the order. See Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty Determination with Final Antidumping Duty Determination: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Italy, 63 FR 47246 (September 4, 1998) (“Preliminary Determination”). Unless the Department receives opposition from domestic producers whose production totals more than 15 percent of the domestic like product, the Department will revoke the order on stainless steel plate in coils in the final results of this review.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

February 14, 2006.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brandon Farlander or Audrey R. Twyman, AD/CVD Operations, Office 1, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-0182 and (202) 482-3534, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On May 11, 1999, the Department of Commerce (the “Department”) published a countervailing duty order on stainless steel plate in coils (“SSPC”) from Italy. See Notice of Amended Final Determinations: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium and South Africa; and Notice of Countervailing Duty Orders: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium, Italy and South Africa, 64 FR 25288 (May 11, 1999). The order was amended on March 11, 2003. See Notice of Amended Countervailing Duty Orders; Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium, Italy, and South Africa, 68 FR 11524 (March 11, 2003). The amended order was corrected on April 24, 2003. See Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium, Italy, and South Africa; Notice of Correction to the Amended Countervailing Duty Orders, 68 FR 20115 (April 24, 2003).

On December 2, 2005, the Department received a request from Allegheny Ludlum Corporation and AK Steel Corporation, some of the petitioners in the original investigation (“petitioners”), that the Department initiate a changed circumstances review for purposes of revoking the countervailing duty (“CVD”) order. Also, it is the petitioners' understanding that, upon revocation of the CVD order, the Department will fully refund any countervailing duties deposited pursuant to the order on unliquidated entries. The petitioners state that they are no longer interested in maintaining the countervailing duty order or in the imposition of CVD duties on the subject merchandise.

On January 4, 2006, the Department published a notice of initiation of a changed circumstances review of the countervailing duty order on SSPC from Italy. See Initiation Notice. In the Initiation Notice, we indicated interested parties could submit comments for consideration in the Department's preliminary results not later than 14 days after publication of the initiation of the review, and submit responses to those comments not later than 5 days following the submission of comments. No comments were received.

Scope of the Order

The product covered by this order is certain stainless steel plate in coils. 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 plate products are flat-rolled products, 254 mm or over in width and 4.75 mm or more in thickness, in coils, and annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled. The subject plate may also be further processed (e.g., cold-rolled, polished, etc.) provided that it maintains the specified dimensions of plate following such processing. Excluded from the scope of this order are the following: (1) plate not in coils, (2) plate that is not annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled, (3) sheet and strip, and (4) flat bars. The merchandise subject to this order is currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) at subheadings: 7219.11.00.30, 7219.11.00.60, 7219.12.00.06, 7219.12.00.21, 7219.12.00.26, 7219.12.00.51, 7219.12.00.56, 7219.12.00.66, 7219.12.00.71, 7219.12.00.81, 7219.31.00.10, 7219.90.00.10, 7219.90.00.20, 7219.90.00.25, 7219.90.00.60, 7219.90.00.80, 7220.11.00.00, 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, 7220.90.00.10, 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 written description of the merchandise subject to this order is dispositive.

Preliminary Results of Review and Intent to Revoke in Whole

Pursuant to section 751(d)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), and 19 CFR 351.222(g), the Department may revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, in whole or in part, based on a review under section 751(b) of the Act (i.e., a changed circumstances review). Section 751(b)(1) of the Act requires a changed circumstances review to be conducted upon receipt of a request which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review. Section 782(h)(2) of the Act gives the Department the authority to revoke an order if producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product have expressed a lack of interest in the continuation of the order. Section 351.222(g) of the Department's regulations provides that the Department will conduct a changed Start Printed Page 7737circumstances review under 19 CFR 351.216, and may revoke an order (in whole or in part), if it concludes that (i) 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 relief provided by the order, in whole or in part, or (ii) if other changed circumstances sufficient to warrant revocation exist. The Department has interpreted “substantially all” production normally to mean at least 85 percent of domestic production of the like product. See Certain Tin Mill Products From Japan: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 66 FR 52109 (October 12, 2001).

As noted above and in the Initiation Notice, the petitioners requested this changed circumstances review on the basis that they are no longer interested in maintaining the countervailing duty order or in the imposition of CVD duties on the subject merchandise. Because the Department did not receive any comments during the comment period opposing this changed circumstances review, we preliminarily conclude that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product, to which this order pertains, lack interest in the relief provided by the order. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.222(g), the Department preliminarily determines that there is a reasonable basis to believe that changed circumstances exist and that it is sufficient to warrant revocation of the order. Therefore, the Department is preliminarily revoking the order on SSPC from Italy, in whole. Unless the Department receives opposition within the time limit set forth below from domestic producers whose production totals more than 15 percent of the domestic like product, the Department will revoke the order on SSPC in its final results of this review.

If, as a result of this review, we revoke the order, we intend to instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to liquidate without regard to applicable countervailing duties and refund any estimated countervailing duties collected on all unliquidated entries of the merchandise subject to the order, as described above in the “Scope of the Order” section, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after September 4, 1998, i.e., the publication date of the Department's Preliminary Determination in the underlying investigation. We will also instruct CBP to pay interest on such refunds with respect to the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after May 11, 1999, in accordance with section 778 of the Act. The current requirement for a cash deposit of estimated countervailing duties on the subject merchandise will continue unless, and until, we publish a final determination to revoke in whole.

Public Comment

Interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 14 days after the date of publication of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii). Rebuttal briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in such case briefs, may be filed not later than 19 days after the date of publication of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.309(d). Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument (1) a statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities. Any interested party may request a hearing within 14 days of publication of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.310(c). Any hearing, if requested, may be held 22 days after the date of publication of this notice, or the first working day thereafter, as practicable.

Consistent with section 351.216(e) of the Department's regulations, we will issue the final results of this changed circumstances review not later than 270 days after the date on which this review was initiated.

This notice is published in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 771(i)(1) of the Act and sections 351.216 and 351.222 of the Department's regulations.

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Dated: February 8, 2006.

David M. Spooner,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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[FR Doc. E6-2093 Filed 2-13-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-S