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Notice

Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Negative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination

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AGENCY:

Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) preliminarily determines that de minimis countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers/exporters of certain hot-rolled steel flat products (“hot-rolled steel”) from the Republic of Korea (“Korea”). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Effective date: January 15, 2016.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Katie Marksberry or Bob Palmer, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-7906 or (202) 482-9068, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are certain hot-rolled steel flat products from Korea. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

Methodology

The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”). For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.[1] A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/​frn/​. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

The Department notes that, in making this preliminary determination, we relied, in part, on facts otherwise available.[2] For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available” in the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Alignment

As noted in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum,[3] in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4), we are aligning the final CVD determination in this investigation with the final determination in the companion AD investigation of hot-rolled steel from Korea based on a request made by Petitioners. Consequently, the final CVD determination will be issued on the same date as the final AD determination, which is currently scheduled to be issued no later than May 23, 2016, unless postponed.[4]

Preliminary Determination

In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we calculated a CVD rate for each individually investigated producer/exporter of the subject merchandise. We preliminarily determine that de minimis countervailable subsides are being provided with respect to the manufacture, production or exportation of the subject merchandise. Consistent with section 703(b)(4)(A) of the Act, we have disregarded de minimis rates. Consistent with section 703(d) of the Act, we have not calculated an all-others rate because we have not reached an affirmative preliminarily Start Printed Page 2173determination. We preliminarily determine the countervailable subsidy rates to be:

CompanySubsidy rate
POSCO and Daewoo International Corporation0.17
Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd0.63
Percent (de minimis).

Because we preliminarily determine that the CVD rates in this investigation are de minimis, we will not direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise.

Verification

As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted by the respondents prior to making our final determination.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

In accordance with section 705(b)(3) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 75 days after the Department makes its final determination.

Disclosure and Public Comment

The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement.[5] Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs, as well as request a hearing.[6] For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

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Dated: January 8, 2016.

Paul Piquado,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Scope Comments

IV. Scope of the Investigation

V. Injury Test

VI. Use of Facts Otherwise Available

VII. Subsidies Valuation

VIII. Analysis of Programs

IX. Disclosure and Public Comment

X. Conclusion

Appendix II

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are certain hot-rolled, flat-rolled steel products, with or without patterns in relief, and whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of thickness, and regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieve subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

(1) where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above unless the resulting measurement makes the product covered by the existing antidumping [7] or countervailing duty [8] orders on Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products From the Republic of Korea (A-580-836; C-580-837), and

(2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

  • 2.50 percent of manganese, or
  • 3.30 percent of silicon, or
  • 1.50 percent of copper, or
  • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or
  • 1.25 percent of chromium, or
  • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or
  • 0.40 percent of lead, or
  • 2.00 percent of nickel, or
  • 0.30 percent of tungsten, or
  • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or
  • 0.10 percent of niobium, or
  • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or
  • 0.30 percent of zirconium.

Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, the substrate for motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. The substrate for motor lamination steels contains micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

Subject merchandise includes hot-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigations if performed in the country of manufacture of the hot-rolled steel.

All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of these investigations unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

  • Universal mill plates (i.e., hot-rolled, flat-rolled products not in coils that have been rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, of a thickness not less than 4.0 mm, and without patterns in relief);Start Printed Page 2174
  • Products that have been cold-rolled (cold-reduced) after hot-rolling; [9]
  • Ball bearing steels; [10]
  • Tool steels; [11] and
  • Silico-manganese steels; [12]

The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) under item numbers: 7208.10.1500, 7208.10.3000, 7208.10.6000, 7208.25.3000, 7208.25.6000, 7208.26.0030, 7208.26.0060, 7208.27.0030, 7208.27.0060, 7208.36.0030, 7208.36.0060, 7208.37.0030, 7208.37.0060, 7208.38.0015, 7208.38.0030, 7208.38.0090, 7208.39.0015, 7208.39.0030, 7208.39.0090, 7208.40.6030, 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.54.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0090, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.3000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7530, 7211.19.7560, 7211.19.7590, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.30.3050, 7225.30.7000, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9030, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.5000, 7226.91.7000, and 7226.91.8000. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7214.99.0060, 7214.99.0075, 7214.99.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7226.99.0180, and 7228.60.6000.

The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

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Footnotes

1.  See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations; Re: Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Negative Determination: Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea, dated January 8, 2015 (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

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2.  See section 776(a) of the Act.

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3.  See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

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4.  We note that the current deadline for the final AD determination is May 22, 2016, which is a Sunday. Pursuant to Department practice, the signature date will be the next business day, which is Monday, March 9, 2016. See Notice of Clarification: Application of “Next Business Day” Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005).

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7.  See Notice of Amendment of Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products From France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and the Republic of Korea, 65 FR 6585 (February 10, 2000).

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8.  See Notice of Amended Final Determinations: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From India and the Republic of Korea; and Notice of Countervailing Duty Orders: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From France, India, Indonesia, Italy, and the Republic of Korea, 65 FR 6587 (February 10, 2000).

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9.  For purposes of this scope exclusion, rolling operations such as a skin pass, levelling, temper rolling or other minor rolling operations after the hot-rolling process for purposes of surface finish, flatness, shape control, or gauge control do not constitute cold-rolling sufficient to meet this exclusion.

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10.  Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

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11.  Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

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12.  Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

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[FR Doc. 2016-00750 Filed 1-14-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P