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Notice

Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Negative Critical Circumstances 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 carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from the Republic of Korea (Korea). In addition, we continue to find that critical circumstances do not exist with respect to POSCO, POSCO-Daewoo Corporation, and all-other producers/exporters from Korea. The period of investigation is January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination and Suspension of Liquidation” section of this notice.

DATES:

Effective April 4, 2017.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Yasmin Bordas or John Corrigan, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3813 and (202) 482-7438, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Department published the Preliminary Determination on September 14, 2016.[1] A summary of the 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 Start Printed Page 16342found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.[2]

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by this investigation is CTL plate from Korea. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

The subsidy programs under investigation, and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs submitted by the parties, 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 at Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B-8024 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/​index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Use of Adverse Facts Available

In making this final determination, the Department relied in part on facts available. Because POSCO Chemtech and POSCO M-Tech, which are cross-owned affiliates of POSCO, and Hyundai Corporation, a trading company unaffiliated with POSCO, 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.[3] 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, as well as additional items discovered at verification, we made certain changes to the respondent's subsidy rate calculations. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and POSCO's Final Calculation Memorandum.[4]

Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances

On July 26, 2016, Petitioners [5] timely filed a critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 703(e)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of CTL plate from Korea.[6] The Department preliminarily determined that critical circumstances did not exist with respect to POSCO, POSCO-Daewoo Corporation, and all-other producers/exporters from Korea.[7] Our analysis and conclusion concerning critical circumstances remain unchanged for our final determination.[8]

All-Others Rate

In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a rate for POSCO, the exporter/producer 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. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that the all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any rates that are zero or de minimis or any rates determined entirely on facts available. However, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act states that if the countervailable subsidy rates for all exporters and producers individually investigated are zero or de minimis rates, or are determined entirely under section 776 of the Act, the Department may use any reasonable method to establish an all-others rate for exporters and producers not individually investigated, including averaging the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates determined for the exporters and producers individually investigated.

POSCO is the only mandatory respondent in the instant investigation. We, therefore, are applying the countervailable subsidy rate calculated for POSCO to all-other producers/exporters not individually investigated. The Department has taken this approach to calculating the all-others rate in other countervailing duty (CVD) investigations.[9] In accordance with the scope of this investigation, this application of POSCO's subsidy rate to all-other producers/exporters applies only to subject CTL plate not within the physical description of cut-to-length carbon quality steel plate in the 1999 Korea CVD Order.[10]

Final Determination

The final subsidy rates are as follows:

Producer/exporterSubsidy rate (percent)
POSCO4.31
All-Others4.31

Disclosure

We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding 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 Start Printed Page 16343respondents were de minimis and, therefore, we did not suspend liquidation of entries of CTL plate from Korea. However, as the estimated subsidy rates for the examined company is above de minimis in this final determination, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of CTL plate 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, pursuant to section 705(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act. The suspension of liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and instruct CBP to continue 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.

ITC 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 Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely 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 the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

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Dated: March 29, 2017.

Ronald K. Lorentzen,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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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 1,250 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., 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, 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 (i.e., Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil and the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Orders, 81 FR 67960 (October 3, 2016)); 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 investigation;

(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 and 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:Start Printed Page 16344

(i) 270-300 HBW,

(ii) 290-320 HBW, or

(iii) 320-350HBW;

(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 and 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 75ksi 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 and 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 145 ksi or more and UTS 160 ksi 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.

At the time of the filing of the petition, there was an existing countervailing duty order on certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate from Korea. See Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From the Republic of Korea, 64 FR 73176 (Dep't Commerce Dec. 29, 1999), as amended, 65 FR 6587 (Dep't Commerce Feb. 10, 2000) (1999 Korea CVD Order). The scope of the countervailing duty investigation with regard to cut-to-length plate from Korea covers only (1) subject cut-to-length plate not within the physical description of cut-to-length carbon quality steel plate in the 1999 Korea CVD Order regardless of producer or exporter, and (2) cut-to-length plate produced and/or exported by those companies that were excluded or revoked from the 1999 Korea CVD Order as of April 8, 2016. The only revoked or excluded company is Pohang Iron and Steel Company, also known as POSCO.

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.

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 Issues and Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Final Determination of Critical Circumstances

IV. Scope of the Investigation

V. Scope Comments

VI. Subsidies Valuation Information

VII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

VIII. Calculation of the All-Others Rate

IX. Analysis of Programs

X. Analysis of Comments

Comment 1: Whether the Department Should Consider POSCO Energy's Sales of Electricity under the Government of Korea's Purchases of Electricity for More Than Adequate Remuneration Program

Comment 2: Whether the Department Should Find That the Provision of Electricity for Less Than Adequate Remuneration (LTAR) is a Countervailable Subsidy

Comment 3: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to POSCO Chemtech's Unreported Port Usage Grants

Comment 4: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to POSCO M-Tech's Unreported Subsidies

Comment 5: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to POSCO Chemtech's Research & Development Grant Program

Comment 6: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to Hyundai Corporation's Unreported Tax Exemption

Comment 7: Whether the Department Should Find Have Initiated Nucor's Allegation that the GOK Provides the Provision of Natural Gas in All Forms for LTAR

Comment 8: Whether the Department Should Revise its Calculation Regarding Benefit to POSCO under Restriction of Special Taxation Act Article 9

Comment 9: Whether the Department Verified that POSCO Did Not Receive any Benefit under the Free Economic Zone Programs

Comment 10: Whether the Department Finds Tax Programs de facto Specific

XI. Recommendation

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Footnotes

1.  See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Negative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 81 FR 63168 (September 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

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2.  See Memorandum to Ronald K. Lorentzen, from Gary Taverman, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

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3.  See Sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act; see also 19 CFR 351.525(b)(6)(iv) and 19 CFR 351.525(c).

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4.  See Issues and Decision Memorandum; see also Memorandum from John Corrigan to Brian C. Davis, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the Republic of Korea: POSCO Final Determination Calculation Memorandum,” dated March 29, 2017 (POSCO's Final Calculation Memorandum).

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5.  Petitioners are ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, and SSAB Enterprises, LLC.

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6.  See Letter from Petitioners, “Re: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey: Critical Circumstances Allegations,” dated July 26, 2016.

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7.  See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations: Preliminary Determinations of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 61666 (September 7, 2016).

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8.  See Issues and Decision Memorandum at Section III, “Final Determination of Critical Circumstances.”

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9.  See, e.g., Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 79 FR 59221 (October 1, 2014) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at 12.

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10.  See Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from the Republic of Korea, 64 FR 6587 (December 29, 1999), as amended, 65 FR 6587 (February 10, 2000) (1999 Korea CVD Order).

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[FR Doc. 2017-06632 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am]

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