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Notice

Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers From China

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AGENCY:

United States International Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Scheduling of the final phase of countervailing duty and antidumping investigations.

SUMMARY:

The Commission hereby gives notice of the scheduling of the final phase of countervailing duty investigation No. 701-TA-457 (Final) under section 705(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b)) (the Act) and the final phase of antidumping investigation No. 731-TA-1153 (Final) under section 735(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1673d(b)) to determine whether an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded, by reason of subsidized and less-than-fair-value imports from China of tow-behind lawn groomers, provided for in subheadings 8432.40.00, 8432.80.00, 8432.90.00, 8479.89.98, 8479.90.94, and 9603.50.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.[11]

For further information concerning the conduct of this phase of the investigations, hearing procedures, and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A through E (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A and C (19 CFR part 207).

DATES:

Effective Date: January 28, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Merrill (202-205-3188), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for these investigations may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background.—The final phase of these investigations is being scheduled as a result of affirmative preliminary determinations by the Department of Commerce that certain benefits which constitute subsidies within the meaning of section 703 of the Act (19 U.S.C. Start Printed Page 109651671b) are being provided to manufacturers, producers, or exporters in China of tow-behind lawn groomers, and that such products are being sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 733 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1673b). The investigations were requested in a petition filed on June 24, 2008, by Agri-Fab, Inc., Sullivan, IL.

Participation in the investigations and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the subject merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in the final phase of these investigations as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11 of the Commission's rules, no later than 21 days prior to the hearing date specified in this notice. A party that filed a notice of appearance during the preliminary phase of the investigations need not file an additional notice of appearance during this final phase. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the investigations.

Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and BPI service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI gathered in the final phase of these investigations available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the investigations, provided that the application is made no later than 21 days prior to the hearing date specified in this notice. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined by 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the investigations. A party granted access to BPI in the preliminary phase of the investigations need not reapply for such access. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

Staff report.—The prehearing staff report in the final phase of these investigations will be placed in the nonpublic record on May 21, 2009, and a public version will be issued thereafter, pursuant to section 207.22 of the Commission's rules.

Hearing.—The Commission will hold a hearing in connection with the final phase of these investigations beginning at 9:30 a.m. on June 16, 2009, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed in writing with the Secretary to the Commission on or before June 10, 2009. A nonparty who has testimony that may aid the Commission's deliberations may request permission to present a short statement at the hearing. All parties and nonparties desiring to appear at the hearing and make oral presentations should attend a prehearing conference to be held at 9:30 a.m. on June 12, 2009, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building. Oral testimony and written materials to be submitted at the public hearing are governed by sections 201.6(b)(2), 201.13(f), and 207.24 of the Commission's rules. Parties must submit any request to present a portion of their hearing testimony in camera no later than 7 business days prior to the date of the hearing.

Written submissions.—Each party who is an interested party shall submit a prehearing brief to the Commission. Prehearing briefs must conform with the provisions of section 207.23 of the Commission's rules; the deadline for filing is June 9, 2009. Parties may also file written testimony in connection with their presentation at the hearing, as provided in section 207.24 of the Commission's rules, and posthearing briefs, which must conform with the provisions of section 207.25 of the Commission's rules. The deadline for filing posthearing briefs is June 23, 2009; witness testimony must be filed no later than three days before the hearing. In addition, any person who has not entered an appearance as a party to the investigations may submit a written statement of information pertinent to the subject of the investigations, including statements of support or opposition to the petition, on or before June 23, 2009. On July 8, 2009, the Commission will make available to parties all information on which they have not had an opportunity to comment. Parties may submit final comments on this information on or before July 10, 2009, but such final comments must not contain new factual information and must otherwise comply with section 207.30 of the Commission's rules. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's rules do not authorize filing of submissions with the Secretary by facsimile or electronic means, except to the extent permitted by section 201.8 of the Commission's rules, as amended, 67 FR 68036 (November 8, 2002). Even where electronic filing of a document is permitted, certain documents must also be filed in paper form, as specified in II(C) of the Commission's Handbook on Electronic Filing Procedures, 67 FR 68168, 68173 (November 8, 2002).

Additional written submissions to the Commission, including requests pursuant to section 201.12 of the Commission's rules, shall not be accepted unless good cause is shown for accepting such submissions, or unless the submission is pursuant to a specific request by a Commissioner or Commission staff.

In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to the investigations must be served on all other parties to the investigations (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

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Authority: These investigations are being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.21 of the Commission's rules.

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By order of the Commission.

Issued: March 9, 2009.

Marilyn R. Abbott,

Secretary to the Commission,

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Footnotes

11.  For purposes of these investigations, the Department of Commerce has defined the subject merchandise as:

“* * * Certain non-motorized tow behind lawn groomers (“lawn groomers”), manufactured from any material, and certain parts thereof. Lawn groomers are defined as lawn sweepers, aerators, dethatchers, and spreaders. Unless specifically excluded, lawn groomers that are designed to perform at least one of the functions listed above are included in the scope of these investigations, even if the lawn groomer is designed to perform additional non-subject functions (e.g., mowing). All lawn groomers are designed to incorporate a hitch, of any configuration, which allows the product to be towed behind a vehicle. Lawn groomers that are designed to incorporate both a hitch and a push handle, of any type, are also covered by the scope of these investigations. The hitch and handle may be permanently attached or removable, and they may be attached on opposite sides or on the same side of the lawn groomer. Lawn groomers designed to incorporate a hitch, but where the hitch is not attached to the lawn groomer, are also included in the scope of the investigations. Lawn sweepers consist of a frame, as well as a series of brushes attached to an axle or shaft which allows the brushing component to rotate. Lawn sweepers also include a container (which is a receptacle into which debris swept from the lawn or turf is deposited) supported by the frame. Aerators consist of a frame, as well as an aerating component that is attached to an axle or shaft which allows the aerating component to rotate. The aerating component is made up of a set of knives fixed to a plate (known as a “plug aerator”), a series of discs with protruding spikes (a “spike aerator”), or any other configuration, that are designed to create holes or cavities in a lawn or turf surface. Dethatchers consist of a frame, as well as a series of tines designed to remove material (e.g., dead grass or leaves) or other debris from the lawn or turf. The dethatcher tines are attached to and suspended from the frame. Lawn spreaders consist of a frame, as well as a hopper (i.e., a container of any size, shape, or material) that holds a media to be spread on the lawn or turf. The media can be distributed by means of a rotating spreader plate that broadcasts the media (“broadcast spreader”), a rotating agitator that allows the media to be released at a consistent rate (“drop spreader”), or any other configuration. Lawn dethatchers with a net fully-assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 100 pounds or less are covered by the scope of the investigations. Other lawn groomers—sweepers, aerators, and spreaders—with a net fully-assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 200 pounds or less are covered by the scope of the investigations. Also included in the scope of the investigations are modular units, consisting of a chassis that is designed to incorporate a hitch, where the hitch may or may not be included, which allows modules that perform sweeping, aerating, dethatching, or spreading operations to be interchanged. Modular units—when imported with one or more lawn grooming modules—with a fully assembled net weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 200 pounds or less when including a single module, are included in the scope of the investigations. Modular unit chasses, imported without a lawn grooming module and with a fully assembled net weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 125 pounds or less, are also covered by the scope of the investigations. When imported separately, modules that are designed to perform subject lawn grooming functions (i.e., sweeping, aerating, dethatching, or spreading), with a fully assembled net weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 75 pounds or less, and that are imported with or without a hitch, are also covered by the scope. Lawn groomers, assembled or unassembled, are covered by these investigations. For purposes of these investigations, “unassembled lawn groomers” consist of either (1) all parts necessary to make a fully assembled lawn groomer, or (2) any combination of parts, constituting a less than complete, unassembled lawn groomer, with a minimum of two of the following “major components”:

(1) An assembled or unassembled brush housing designed to be used in a lawn sweeper, where a brush housing is defined as a component housing the brush assembly, and consisting of a wrapper which covers the brush assembly and two end plates attached to the wrapper;

(2) a sweeper brush;

(3) an aerator or dethatcher weight tray, or similar component designed to allow weights of any sort to be added to the unit;

(4) a spreader hopper;

(5) a rotating spreader plate or agitator, or other component designed for distributing media in a lawn spreader;

(6) dethatcher tines;

(7) aerator spikes, plugs, or other aerating component; or

(8) a hitch.

The major components or parts of lawn groomers that are individually covered by these investigations under the term “certain parts thereof” are: (1) Brush housings, where the wrapper and end plates incorporating the brush assembly may be individual pieces or a single piece; and (2) weight trays, or similar components designed to allow weights of any sort to be added to a dethatcher or an aerator unit. The products for which relief is sought specifically exclude the following: (1) Agricultural implements designed to work (e.g., churn, burrow, till, etc.) soil, such as cultivators, harrows, and plows; (2) lawn or farm carts and wagons that do not groom lawns; (3) grooming products incorporating a motor or an engine for the purpose of operating and/or propelling the lawn groomer; (4) lawn groomers that are designed to be hand held or are designed to be attached directly to the frame of a vehicle, rather than towed; (5) “push” lawn grooming products that incorporate a push handle rather than a hitch, and which are designed solely to be manually operated; (6) dethatchers with a net assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of more than 100 pounds, or lawn groomers-sweepers, aerators, and spreaders-with a net fully-assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of more than 200 pounds; and (7) lawn rollers designed to flatten grass and turf, including lawn rollers which incorporate an aerator component (e.g., “drum-style” spike aerators). The lawn groomers that are the subject of these investigations are currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) statistical reporting numbers 8432.40.0000, 8432.80.0000, 8432.80.0010, 8432.90.0030, 8432.90.0080, 8479.89.9896, 8479.89.9897, 8479.90.9496, and 9603.50.0000. These HTSUS provisions are given for reference and customs purposes only, and the description of merchandise is dispositive for determining the scope of the product included in these investigations.”

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[FR Doc. E9-5427 Filed 3-12-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7020-02-P