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Notice

Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty 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 countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers/exporters of certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The period of investigation is January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Effective September 13, 2016.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ryan Mullen, 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) 482-5260.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty (CVD) Determination With Final Antidumping Duty (AD) Determination

On the same day the Department initiated this CVD investigation, the Department also initiated CVD investigations of CTL plate from Brazil and the Republic of Korea (Korea) and AD investigations of CTL plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the PRC, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey.[1] The CVD investigation covers the same merchandise as the AD investigations of CTL plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey.[2]

On August 25, 2016, in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (Act), Petitioners [3] requested alignment of the final CVD determination with the final AD determination of CTL plate from the PRC. Therefore, in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4), we are aligning the final CVD determination with the final AD determination of CTL plate from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan.[4] Consequently, we intend to issue the final CVD determination on the same date as the final AD determination, Start Printed Page 62872which is currently scheduled to be issued no later than January 18, 2017, unless postponed.[5]

Scope of the Investigation

The scope of this investigation covers CTL plate from the PRC. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

Scope Comments

In accordance with the Preamble to the Department's regulations,[6] the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope).[7] Certain interested parties commented on the scope of this investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, as well as additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this preliminary determination, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Department's Scope Memorandum issued concurrently with this notice.[8] The Department is preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice to clarify the exclusion for stainless steel plate.[9] The Department is also correcting two tariff numbers that were misidentified in the Petitions and in the Initiation Notice.[10]

Methodology

The Department is conducting this CVD investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.[11] A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II 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 on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/​frn/​. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we determined an estimated countervailable subsidy rate for each producer/exporter of the subject merchandise individually investigated. We preliminarily determine these rates to be:

CompanySubsidy rate (percent)
Jiangyin Xingcheng Special Steel Works Co. Ltd210.50
Hunan Valin Xiangtan Iron & Steel210.50
Viewer Development Co., Ltd210.50
All Others210.50

In accordance with section 703(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of CTL from the PRC as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the amounts indicated above.

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.[12] Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs, as well as request a hearing.[13] 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: September 6, 2016.

Christian Marsh,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., Start Printed Page 62873products 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, the following rules apply:

(1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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 product is already covered by an order existing on that specific country (e.g., orders on hot-rolled flat-rolled steel); 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; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, 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 cut-to-length plate.

All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

(1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

(2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

  • MIL-A-12560,
  • MIL-DTL-12560H,
  • MIL-DTL-12560J,
  • MIL-DTL-12560K,
  • MIL-DTL-32332,
  • MIL-A-46100D,
  • MIL-DTL-46100-E,
  • MIL-46177C,
  • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80,
  • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100,
  • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80;
  • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100,
  • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80,
  • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100,
  • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80,
  • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and
  • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115,

except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this order;

(3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

(4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

(5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

(a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

  • Carbon 0.23-0.28,
  • Silicon 0.05-0.20,
  • Manganese 1.20-1.60,
  • Nickel not greater than 1.0,
  • Sulfur not greater than 0.007,
  • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,
  • Chromium 1.0-2.5,
  • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80,
  • Boron 0.002-0.004,
  • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,
  • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and
  • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

(b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

(i) 270-300 HBW,

(ii) 290-320 HBW, or

(iii) 320-350 HBW;

(c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

(d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

(6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

(a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

  • Carbon 0.23-0.28,
  • Silicon 0.05-0.15,
  • Manganese 1.20-1.50,
  • Nickel not greater than 0.4,
  • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,
  • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,
  • Chromium 1.20-1.50,
  • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,
  • Boron 0.002-0.004,
  • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,
  • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and
  • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

(b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

(c) Having the following mechanical properties:

(i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75 ksi min and UTS 95 ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

(ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

(d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

(e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

(7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

(a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

  • Carbon 0.25-0.30,
  • Silicon not greater than 0.25,
  • Manganese not greater than 0.50,
  • Nickel 3.0-3.5,
  • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,
  • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,
  • Chromium 1.0-1.5,
  • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9,
  • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12
  • Boron 0.002-0.004,
  • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,
  • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and
  • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

(b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

(c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

(d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

(e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.Start Printed Page 62874

The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

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

Appendix II

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Scope Comments

IV. Scope of the Investigation

V. Alignment

VI. Injury Test

VII. Application of the CVD Law to Imports From the PRC

VIII. Subsidies Valuation

IX. Use of Fact Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

X. Analysis of Programs

XI. ITC Notification

XII. Disclosure and Public Comment

XIII. Conclusion

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 81 FR 27098 (May 5, 2016) (Initiation Notice); see also Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the People's Republic of China, South Africa, Taiwan, and the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 81 FR 27089 (May 5, 2016).

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2.  For a complete case history, s ee Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination: Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with this notice and hereby incorporated by reference, and adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

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3.  Petitioners in this investigation are ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, and SSAB Enterprises LLC.

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4.  See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Petitioners, “Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from People's Republic of China and Korea—Petitioners' Request to Align the Countervailing Duty Final Determinations with the Companion Antidumping Duty Final Determination,” (August 25, 2016).

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5.  The AD determinations of CTL plate from Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey were not postponed. See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate Austria, Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the People's Republic of China, and Taiwan: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 81 FR 59185 (August 29, 2016).

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6.  See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997) (Preamble).

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7.  See Initiation Notice, 81 FR at 27099.

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8.  See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations” (Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum) dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

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9.  Specifically, the revised scope now states that stainless steel plate must not contain more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight.

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11.  See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

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[FR Doc. 2016-21999 Filed 9-12-16; 8:45 am]

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