Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.
Applicable July 12, 2017.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Catherine Cartsos at (202) 482-1757, or Peter Zukowski at (202) 482-0189, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.
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On June 22, 2017,
the Department received an antidumping duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of ripe olives from Spain, filed in proper form, on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, which consists of domestic processors Bell-Carter Foods, Inc. and Musco Family Olive Co. (collectively, the petitioner). The AD Petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition. The petitioners are domestic producers of processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives.”
On June 23, 2017, June 27, 2017, and June 28, 2017, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain aspects of the Petition.
The petitioner filed responses to these requests on June 27, 2017, and June 30, 2017.
On July 5, 2017, Associación de Exportadores e Industiales de Aceitunas de Mesa (ASEMESA), an interested party, requested the Department poll the Start Printed Page 33055domestic industry of olive growers and the workers employed by them.
On July 7, 2017, the petitioner submitted rebuttal comments to ASEMESA's polling request 
and its final proposed scope language. ASEMESA submitted an additional argument and request for the Department to poll the domestic industry of olive growers on July 10, 2017.
On July 12, 2017, Acorsa USA, Inc., Atalanta Corporation, Mario Camacho Foods, LLC, Mitsui Foods, Inc., and Schreiber Foods International, Inc. revised and resubmitted their July 11, 2017, submission, which was previously rejected. However, this new submission was filed too late for us to consider.
In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of ripe olives from Spain are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Additionally, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.
The Department finds that the petitioner filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(G) of the Act. As discussed in the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, below, the Department also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to initiation of the requested AD investigation.
Period of Investigation
Because the Petition was filed on June 22, 2017, the period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017.
Scope of the Investigation
The products covered by this investigation are certain processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives,” from Spain. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice.
Comments on Scope of the Investigation
During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition accurately reflected the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.
As a result of those exchanges, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition.
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 (i.e., scope). The Department will consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. The Department requests that all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (and also should be limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, August 11, 2017, which is ten calendar days after the deadline for initial comments.
The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments and information must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD 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 successfully received, in its entirety, by the time and date when it is due. 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 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.
Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaire
The Department will provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the appropriate physical characteristics of ripe olives to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaire. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant costs of production accurately, as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.
Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics; and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe ripe olives, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first Start Printed Page 33056and the least important characteristics last.
In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, all product characteristic comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on August 1, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on August 11, 2017. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above.
Determination of Industry Support for the Petition
Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(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 732(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. 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 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 Petition).
With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that ripe olives, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.
In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. The petitioner provided the 2016 production of the domestic like product by its members.
In addition, we relied on data the petitioner provided estimating the 2016 production of the domestic like product by the only other U.S. processor.
We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.
On July 5, 2017, we received comments on industry support from ASEMESA.
The petitioner responded to the letter from ASEMESA on July 7, 2017.
On July 10, 2017, we received comments on industry support collectively from ASEMESA, Industria Aceiyunera Merciense, S.A., DCOOOP, S. COOP. AND., Agro Sevilla Aceitunas, SOC. COOP. AND., Plasoliva, S.L., GOYA en Espana, S.A.U., Aceitunas Guadalquivir, S.L., Angel Camacho Alimentación, S.L., Internacional Olivarera S.A., F.J. Sanchez Sucesores, S.A.U., and Aceitunas Sevillanas S.A. (collectively, ASEMESA et al.).
For further discussion of these comments, see the AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
Our review of the data provided in the Petition, supplemental responses, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.
First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production 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) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(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 production of the domestic like product.
Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for 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.
Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.
The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(G) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD Start Printed Page 33057investigation that it is requesting that the Department initiate.
Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation
The petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.
The petitioner contends 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 financial performance, production, and capacity utilization; reduction in olive acreage under cultivation; and magnitude of the alleged margins of dumping.
We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.
Allegations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value
The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate an AD investigation of imports of ripe olives from Spain. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the AD Initiation Checklist.
The petitioner based U.S. price on export price (EP) using average unit values of publicly available import data.
The petitioner made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses to derive the ex-factory net U.S. EP.
The petitioner was unable to obtain home market or third country prices for ripe olives and calculated NV based on constructed value (CV).
For further discussion of the cost of production (COP) and CV, see the section “Normal Value Based on Constructed Value” below.
Normal Value Based on Constructed Value
As noted above, the petitioner was unable to obtain home market or third country prices; accordingly, the petitioner based NV on CV.
Pursuant to section 773(e) of the Act, CV consists of the cost of manufacturing (COM), selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses, financial expenses, packing expenses and profit. The petitioner calculated the COM based on the input factors of production and usage rates from a U.S. producer of ripe olives. The input factors of production were valued using publicly available data on costs specific to Spain, during the proposed POI.
Specifically, the prices for raw materials and packing inputs were valued using publicly available Spanish import data.
For labor costs, the petitioner multiplied the labor usage factors by Spanish labor rates derived from publicly available sources.
To determine factory overhead, SG&A, financial expenses, and profit, the petitioner relied on financial statements of a Spanish company that is a producer of comparable merchandise operating in Spain.
Fair Value Comparisons
Based on the data provided by the petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of ripe olives from Spain are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV in accordance with sections 772 and 773 of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for ripe olives form Spain are 78.00 and 223.00 percent.
Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation
Based upon the examination of the AD Petition, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of ripe olives from Spain are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.
The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA) made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws.
The TPEA does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.
The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this AD investigation.
The petitioner identified numerous companies in Spain as producers/exporters of ripe olives.
In the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, where appropriate, the Department intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of ripe olives from Spain during the period of the investigation under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix.
We intend to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of the announcement of the initiation of this investigation.
Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications Start Printed Page 33058may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.
Comments for this investigation 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 5:00 p.m. EST, by the dates noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.
Distribution of Copies of the Petition
In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the Government of Spain (GOS) and the European Commission via ACCESS. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition, the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the GOS consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).
We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.
Preliminary Determination by the ITC
The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of ripe olives from Spain are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.
A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 
otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.
Submission of Factual Information
Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (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) through (iv). The regulation 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. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.
Extensions of Time Limits
Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different deadline after which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we 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. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.
Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.
Parties must use the certifications formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).
The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable 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 this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).
This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 732(c)(2) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).
Dated: July 12, 2017.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
Appendix—Scope of the Investigation
The products covered by this investigation are certain processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives.” The subject merchandise includes all colors of olives; all shapes and sizes of olives, whether pitted or not pitted, and whether whole, sliced, chopped, minced, wedged, broken, or otherwise reduced in size; all types of packaging, whether for consumer (retail) or institutional (food service) sale, and whether canned or packaged in glass, metal, plastic, multi-layered airtight containers (including pouches), or otherwise; and all manners of preparation and preservation, whether low acid or acidified, stuffed or not stuffed, with or without flavoring and/or saline solution, and including in ambient, refrigerated, or frozen conditions.
Included are all ripe olives grown, processed in whole or in part, or packaged in Spain. Subject merchandise includes ripe olives that have been further processed in Spain or a third country, including but not limited to curing, fermenting, rinsing, oxidizing, pitting, slicing, chopping, segmenting, wedging, stuffing, packaging, or heat treating, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in Spain.
Excluded from the scope are: (1) Specialty olives 
(including “Spanish-style,” “Sicilian-Start Printed Page 33059style,” and other similar olives) that have been processed by fermentation only, or by being cured in an alkaline solution for not longer than 12 hours and subsequently fermented; and (2) provisionally prepared olives unsuitable for immediate consumption (currently classifiable in subheading 0711.20 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)).
The merchandise subject to this investigation is currently classifiable under subheadings 2005.70.0230, 2005.70.0260, 2005.70.0430, 2005.70.0460, 2005.70.5030, 2005.70.5060, 2005.70.6020, 2005.70.6030, 2005.70.6050, 2005.70.6060, 2005.70.6070, 2005.70.7000, 2005.70.7510, 2005.70.7515, 2005.70.7520, and 2005.70.7525 HTSUS. Subject merchandise may also be imported under subheadings 2005.70.0600, 2005.70.0800, 2005.70.1200, 2005.70.1600, 2005.70.1800, 2005.70.2300, 2005.70.2510, 2005.70.2520, 2005.70.2530, 2005.70.2540, 2005.70.2550, 2005.70.2560, 2005.70.9100, 2005.70.9300, and 2005.70.9700. Although HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and US Customs purposes, they do not define the scope of the investigation; rather, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.
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[FR Doc. 2017-15142 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P