Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.
Effective Date: February 18, 2015.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Patricia Tran at (202) 482-1503 or Joy Zhang at (202) 482-1168 (People's Republic of China (PRC)); David Goldberger at (202) 482-4136 or Start Printed Page 8599Katherine Johnson at (202) 482-4929 (Indonesia), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.
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On January 21, 2015, the Department of Commerce (Department) received countervailing duty (CVD) petitions concerning imports of certain uncoated paper from the PRC and Indonesia filed in proper form on behalf of United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union; Domtar Corporation; Finch Paper LLC; P.H. Glatfelter Company; and Packaging Corporation of America (collectively, the petitioners). The CVD petitions were accompanied by antidumping duty (AD) petitions concerning imports of certain uncoated paper from Australia, Brazil, the PRC, Indonesia, and Portugal.
The petitioners are domestic producers of uncoated paper,
and a certified union with workers engaged in the manufacture and production of the domestic like product in the United States.
On January 26 and 27, 2015, the Department requested information and clarification for certain areas of the Petitions.
The petitioners filed responses to these requests on January 29 and 30, 2015.
In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the petitioners allege that the Government of the PRC (GOC) and the Government of Indonesia (GOI) are providing countervailable subsidies (within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act) to imports of certain uncoated paper from the PRC and Indonesia, respectively, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting their allegations.
The Department finds that the petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioners are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C) and (D) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigations that the petitioners are requesting.
Period of Investigations
The period of the investigation for both the PRC and Indonesia is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.
Scope of the Investigations
The product covered by these investigations is certain uncoated paper from the PRC and Indonesia. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see the “Scope of the Investigations” in Appendix I of this notice.
Comments on Scope of the Investigations
During our review of the Petitions, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petitions would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.
As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,
we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The period for scope comments is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. All such comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on March 2, 2015, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on March 12, 2015, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments deadline.
The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of the PRC and Indonesia CVD investigations, as well as the concurrent Australia, Brazil, the PRC, Indonesia, and Portugal AD investigations.
All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).
An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is Start Printed Page 8600due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 1870, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.
Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the GOC and the GOI of the receipt of the Petitions. Also, in accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act, the Department provided representatives of the GOC and the GOI the opportunity for consultations with respect to the Petitions.
Consultations were held with the GOC on February 5, 2015. Consultations were held with the GOI on February 9, 2015. All memoranda are on file electronically via ACCESS.
Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions
Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”
Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product, or those producers whose collective output of a domestic like product constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production of the product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,
they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.
Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petitions).
With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigations. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we determined that uncoated paper constitutes a single domestic like product and we analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.
In determining whether the petitioners have standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I of this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioners provided their shipments of the domestic like product in 2014, and compared their shipments to the estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.
Because total industry production data for the domestic like product for 2014 are not reasonably available and the petitioners have established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for production data,
we relied upon the shipment data provided by the petitioners for purposes of measuring industry support.
Based on the data provided in the Petitions, supplemental submission, and other information readily available to the Department, we determine that the petitioners have established industry support.
First, the Petitions established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total shipments 
of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).
Second, the domestic producers (or workers) met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total shipments of the domestic like product.
Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for more than 50 percent of the shipments of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petitions.
Accordingly, the Start Printed Page 8601Department determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.
The Department finds that the petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C) and (D) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigations that they are requesting the Department initiate.
Because Indonesia and the PRC are “Subsidies Agreement Countries” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to these investigations. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from Indonesia and the PRC materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.
Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation
The petitioners allege that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. The petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold of three percent provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.
In CVD petitions, section 771(24)(B) of the Act provides that imports of subject merchandise from developing countries must exceed the negligibility threshold of four percent. The petitioners also demonstrate that subject imports from Indonesia, which has been designated as a developing country under section 771(36)(A) of the Act, exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(B) of the Act.
The petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; adverse impact on the domestic industry, including mill closures, decline in production, and decline in shipments; reduced employment variables; and adverse impact on financial performance.
We assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.
Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations
Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that: (1) Alleges the elements necessary for an imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act; and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting the allegations.
The petitioners allege that producers/exporters of certain uncoated paper in the PRC and Indonesia benefited from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the governments of these countries, respectively. The Department examined the Petitions and finds that they comply with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating CVD investigations to determine whether manufacturers, producers, or exporters of certain uncoated paper from the PRC and Indonesia receive countervailable subsidies from the governments of these countries, respectively.
Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 21 of the 22 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the PRC CVD Initiation Checklist.
Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 14 of the 15 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the Indonesia CVD Initiation Checklist.
A public version of the initiation checklist for each investigation is available on ACCESS and at http://trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.
In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.
The petitioners named eight companies as producers/exporters of certain uncoated paper from the PRC and six companies as producers/exporters of certain uncoated paper from Indonesia.
Following standard practice in CVD investigations, the Department will, where appropriate, select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of uncoated paper during the period of investigation under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) numbers: 4802.56.1000, 4802.56.2000, 4802.56.3000, 4802.56.4000, 4802.56.6000, 4802.56.7020, 4802.56.7040, 4802.57.1000, 4802.57.2000, 4802.57.3000, and 4802.57.4000. We intend to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO shortly after the announcement of these case initiations. The Department invites comments regarding CBP data and respondent selection within five calendar days of publication of this Federal Register notice. Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. EST by the date noted above. We intend to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this Federal Register notice. Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.
Distribution of Copies of the Petitions
In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petitions have been provided to the GOC and GOI via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each known exporter (as named in the Petitions), consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).
We notified the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.Start Printed Page 8602
Preliminary Determinations by the ITC
The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of certain uncoated paper from the PRC and/or Indonesia are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.
A negative ITC determination for either country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country;
otherwise, these investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.
Submission of Factual Information
On April 10, 2013, the Department published Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013), which modified two regulations related to AD and CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301). The final rule identifies five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The final rule requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. The final rule also modified 19 CFR 351.301 so that, rather than providing general time limits, there are specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. These modifications are effective for all proceeding segments initiated on or after May 10, 2013, and thus are applicable to these investigations. Interested parties should review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.
Revised Extension of Time Limits Regulation
On September 20, 2013, the Department modified its regulation concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD and CVD proceedings.
The modification clarifies that parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under Part 351 expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, clarification and correction information filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning CBP data; and (5) quantity and value questionnaires. Under certain circumstances, the Department may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, the Department will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which the Department will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013, and thus are applicable to these investigations. Interested parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.
Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.
Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule.
The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.
Notification to Interested Parties
Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in these investigations should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).
This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act.
Dated: February 10, 2015.
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
Scope of the Investigations
The merchandise covered by these investigations includes uncoated paper in sheet form; weighing at least 40 grams per square meter but not more than 150 grams per square meter; that either is a white paper with a GE brightness level
of 85 or higher Start Printed Page 8603or is a colored paper; whether or not surface-decorated, printed (except as described below), embossed, perforated, or punched; irrespective of the smoothness of the surface; and irrespective of dimensions (Certain Uncoated Paper).
Certain Uncoated Paper includes (a) uncoated free sheet paper that meets this scope definition; (b) uncoated groundwood paper produced from bleached chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp (BCTMP) that meets this scope definition; and (c) any other uncoated paper that meets this scope definition regardless of the type of pulp used to produce the paper.
Specifically excluded from the scope are (1) paper printed with final content of printed text or graphics and (2) lined paper products, typically school supplies, composed of paper that incorporates straight horizontal and/or vertical lines that would make the paper unsuitable for copying or printing purposes.
Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) categories 4802.56.1000, 4802.56.2000, 4802.56.3000, 4802.56.4000, 4802.56.6000, 4802.56.7020, 4802.56.7040, 4802.57.1000, 4802.57.2000, 4802.57.3000, and 4802.57.4000. Some imports of subject merchandise may also be classified under 4802.62.1000, 4802.62.2000, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.5000, 4802.62.6020, 4802.62.6040, 4802.69.1000, 4802.69.2000, 4802.69.3000, 4811.90.8050 and 4811.90.9080. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigations is dispositive.
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[FR Doc. 2015-03337 Filed 2-17-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P