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Notice

Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Determination

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AGENCY:

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

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers/exporters of certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from the Republic of Korea (Korea) as provided in section 705 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For information on the subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination” section of this notice. The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

DATES:

Effective July 29, 2016.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Yasmin Bordas or Emily Maloof, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-3813 or (202) 482-5649, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Department published the Preliminary Determination on December 22, 2015.[1] A summary of events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.[2] The Issues and 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 Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/​frn/​. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are cold-rolled steel flat products from Korea. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix II of this notice.

Scope Comments

In accordance with the Preliminary Scope Determination,[3] the Department set aside a period of time for parties to address scope issues in case briefs or other written comments on scope issues.

For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the records of the cold-rolled steel investigations, and accompanying decision and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Final Scope Decision Memorandum.[4] The Final Scope Decision Memorandum is incorporated by, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

The subsidy programs under investigation and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues that parties raised, and to which we responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, is attached to this notice as Appendix I.

Use of Adverse Facts Available

In making this final determination, the Department relied, in part, on facts available and, because POSCO and Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd. (Hyundai Steel) did not act to the best of their ability in responding to the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.[5] Specifically, we find that the application of adverse facts available is warranted for POSCO for its failure to report certain cross-owned input suppliers and facilities located in a foreign economic zone (FEZ). We are also applying adverse facts available to POSCO's affiliated trading company, Daewoo International Corporation (DWI) for certain loans presented at verification. Further, we find that the application of adverse facts available is warranted for Hyundai Steel for its failure to report its location in an FEZ. For further information, see the section “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

Based on our analysis of the comments received from parties and the minor corrections presented, and additional items discovered at verification, we made certain changes to the respondents' subsidy rate calculations. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

Final Determination

In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a rate for POSCO and Hyundai Steel, the two exporters/producers of subject merchandise selected for individual examination in this investigation.

In accordance with sections 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not individually investigated, we apply an “all-others” rate, which is normally calculated by weighting the subsidy rates of the individual companies selected as respondents with those companies' export sales of the subject merchandise to the United States. Under section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, the all-others rate should exclude zero and de minimis rates calculated for the exporters and producers individually investigated, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Therefore, we have excluded the rate calculated for POSCO because it was determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Thus, for the “all-others” rate, we applied the rate calculated for Hyundai Steel.

CompanySubsidy rate (percent)
POSCO58.36
Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd.3.91
All-Others3.91

Disclosure

We intend to disclose to parties in this proceeding the calculations performed for this final determination within five days of the date of public announcement of our final determination, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

Suspension of Liquidation

In the Preliminary Determination, the total net countervailable subsidy rates for the individually examined respondents were de minimis and, therefore, we did not suspend liquidation of entries of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from the Republic of Korea. However, the estimated subsidy rates for the examined companies are above de minimis in this final determination, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of cold-rolled steel from Korea that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above. The suspension of liquidation will remain in effect until further notice. In addition, pursuant to section 705(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, we are directing the CBP to require a cash Start Printed Page 49945deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amount indicated above.

If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and instruct CBP to require a cash deposit of estimated CVDs for such entries of subject merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related 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 (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary of Enforcement and Compliance.

Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APOs)

In the event the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to an APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

This determination and notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

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Dated: July 20, 2016.

Paul Piquado,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Final Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Scope of the Investigation

IV. Subsidies Valuation

V. Benchmarks and Discount Rates

VI. Use of Facts Otherwise Available And Adverse Inferences

VII. Analysis of Programs

VIII. Calculation of All-Others Rate

IX. Analysis of Comments

Comment 1: Whether the Department Should Apply Adverse Facts Available (AFA) to the Provision of Electricity for Less Than Adequate Remuneration (LTAR)

Comment 2: Whether the Department Should Find That the Provision of Electricity for LTAR is a Countervailable Subsidy

Comment 3: Whether the Department Should Use Other submitted Data to Measure the Adequacy of Remuneration of Electricity

Comment 4: Whether the Department Should Find the Provision of Natural Gas for LTAR Countervailable

Comment 5: Application of AFA to POSCO and Treatment of POSCO's Unreported Affiliates

Comment 6: Whether to Apply AFA to POSCO Global R&D Center

Comment 7: Whether to Apply AFA to Certain Loans Submitted at Verification

Comment 8: Whether to Apply AFA to Hyundai Steel for Use of Certain Foreign Economic Zones (FEZs)

Comment 9: Whether Certain Loans at the Korean Export Import Bank (KEXIM) Were Verified

Comment 10: The Department's Treatment of Unalleged Programs and Verification of Non-Use

Comment 11: Whether to Apply AFA to the GOK for Restriction of Special Taxation Agreement (RSTA) Article 120

Comment 12: Whether to Apply AFA to the GOK for DWI's Debt Workout

Comment 13: Whether the Department Finds Tax Programs de facto Specific

Comment 14: Whether the Department Should Determine That the Local Tax Exemption Hyundai Steel Received Under RSTA Article 120 Is Related to the Cold-Rolling Assets Purchased From Hyundai HYSCO and Is, Therefore, Attributable to Subject Merchandise

Comment 15: Whether the Department Improperly Countervailed Property Tax Exemptions Received by the Pohang Plant Under RSLTA 78

X. Recommendation

Appendix II—Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances.[6] 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 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 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 covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice 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 achieved 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, 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 (also called wolfram), or
  • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or
  • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), 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, 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 Start Printed Page 49946levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain 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 cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-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 this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

  • Ball bearing steels; [7]
  • Tool steels; [8]
  • Silico-manganese steel; [9]
  • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.[10]
  • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.[11]

The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050.

The products subject to this investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

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

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Footnotes

1.  See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Negative Countervailing Duty Determination, 80 FR 79567 (December 22, 2015) (Preliminary Determination).

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2.  See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea,” dated July 20, 2016 (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

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3.  See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated February 29, 2016 (Preliminary Scope Determination).

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4.  See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Final Scope Comments Decision Memorandum,” dated May 16, 2016 (Final Scope Decision Memorandum).

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5.  See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

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6.  Since the Preliminary Determination, eight interested parties (i.e., JFE Steel Corporation, Electrolux Home Products, Inc., Electrolux Home Care Products, Inc., ArcelorMittal USA LLC, AK Steel Corporation, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics Inc., and United States Steel Corporation) commented on the scope of the investigation. The Department reviewed these comments and made no changes. See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Final Scope Comments Decision,” dated concurrently with this final determination.

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7.  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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8.  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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9.  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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10.  Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

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11.  Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

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[FR Doc. 2016-17939 Filed 7-28-16; 8:45 am]

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