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Notice

Subsidy Programs Provided by Countries Exporting Softwood Lumber and Softwood Lumber Products to the United States; Request for Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (Department) seeks public comment on any subsidies, including stumpage subsidies, provided by certain countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States during the period July 1 through December 31, 2008.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted within thirty days after publication of this notice.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments (original and six copies) should be sent to the Secretary of Commerce, Attn: James Terpstra, Import Administration, APO/Dockets Unit, Room 1870, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street & Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20230.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James Terpstra, Import Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3965.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On June 18, 2008, Section 805 of Title VIII of the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Softwood Lumber Act of 2008) was enacted into law. Under this provision, the Secretary of Commerce is mandated to submit to the appropriate Congressional committees a report every 180 days on any subsidies provided by countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States, including stumpage subsidies. Commerce submitted its first subsidies report to Congress on December 15, 2008. As part of its report, Commerce intends to include a list of subsidy programs identified with sufficient clarity by the public in response to this notice.

Request for Comment

Given the large number of countries that export softwood lumber and softwood lumber products to the United States, we are soliciting public comment only on subsidies provided by countries whose exports accounted for at least one percent of total U.S. imports of softwood lumber by quantity, as classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule code 4407.1001 (which accounts for the vast majority of imports), during the period July 1 through December 31, 2008. Official U.S. import data published by the United States International Trade Commission Tariff and Trade DataWeb indicate that exports of softwood lumber from Canada, Chile, and Germany each account for at least one percent of U.S. imports of softwood lumber products during that time period. We intend to rely on similar previous six-month periods to identify the countries subject to future reports on softwood lumber subsidies. For example, we will rely on U.S. imports of softwood lumber and softwood lumber products during the period January 1 through June 30, 2009, to select the countries subject to the next report.

Under U.S. trade law, a subsidy exists where a government authority: (i) Provides a financial contribution, (ii) provides any form of income or price support within the meaning of Article XVI of the GATT 1994, or (iii) makes a payment to a funding mechanism to provide a financial contribution to a person, or entrusts or directs a private entity to make a financial contribution, if providing the contribution would normally be vested in the government and the practice does not differ in substance from practices normally followed by governments, and a benefit is thereby conferred. See section 771(5)(B) of the of the Tariff Act of 1930.

Parties should include in their comments: (1) The country which provided the subsidy, (2) the name of the subsidy program, (3) a brief (3-4 sentence) description of the subsidy program, and (4) the government body or authority that provided the subsidy.

Submission of Comment

Persons wishing to comment should file a signed original and six copies of each set of comments by the date specified above. The Department will not accept comments accompanied by a request that a part or all of the material be treated confidentially due to business proprietary concerns or for any other reason. The Department will return such comments and materials to the persons submitting the comments and will not include them in its report on softwood lumber subsidies. The Department also requests submission of comments in electronic form to accompany the required paper copies. Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted on CD-ROM with the paper copies or by e-mail to the Webmaster below.

Comments received in electronic form will be made available to the public in Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Import Administration Web site at the following address: http://ia.ita.doc.gov. Any questions concerning file formatting, document conversion, access on the Internet, or other electronic filing issues should be addressed to Andrew Lee Beller, Import Administration Webmaster, at (202) 482-0866, e-mail address: webmaster-support@ita.doc.gov.

All comments and submissions should be mailed to James Terpstra, Import Administration; Subject: Softwood Lumber Subsidies Bi-Annual Report: Request for Comment; Room 1870, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, 20230, by no later than 5 p.m., on the above-referenced deadline date.

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Dated: April 27, 2009.

John M. Andersen,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.

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[FR Doc. E9-10066 Filed 4-30-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P