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Notice

Stainless Steel Flanges From People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

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AGENCY:

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

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that stainless steel flanges from People's Republic of China (China) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV) during the period of investigation (POI) January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017.

DATES:

Applicable March 28, 2018.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Trenton Duncan or Carrie Bethea, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3539 or (202) 482-1491, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This preliminary determination is made in accordance with section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Commerce published the notice of initiation of this investigation on September 11, 2017.[1] On January 9, 2018, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation.[2] Commerce has exercised its discretion to toll deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018.[3] If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is now March 19, 2018.

For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.[4] A list of topics included 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 https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/​frn/​. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are stainless steel flanges from China. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation see Appendix I to this notice.

Scope Comments

In accordance with the preamble to Commerce's regulations,[5] the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).[6] No interested party commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. Commerce is not preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. See the scope in Appendix I to this notice.

Methodology

Commerce is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Pursuant to section 776(a) and (b) of the Act, Commerce preliminarily has relied upon facts otherwise available, with adverse inferences, for mandatory respondent, Shanxi Guanjiaying Flange Forging Group Co., Ltd (GJY). Hydro-Fluids Controls Limited (HFC), Songhai Flange Manufacturing Co., Ltd (Songhai), and Dongtai QB Stainless Steel Co., Ltd (Dongtai) were also selected as mandatory respondents, however, these companies withdrew from participation in this investigation and did not respond to our requests for information. Therefore, HFC, Songhai, and Dongtai have not demonstrated their eligibility for a separate rate and Commerce considers them to be part of the China-wide entity. For a full description of the methodology underlying Commerce's preliminary determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Combination Rates

In the Initiation Notice,[7] Commerce stated that it would calculate producer/exporter combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation. Policy Bulletin 05.1 describes this practice.8 Because Commerce used total facts otherwise available with adverse inferences in determining the rate for the only respondent that demonstrated eligibility for a separate rate in this investigation, GJY, Commerce did not calculate producer/exporter combination rates for that company.

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Preliminary Determination

Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist:

ExporterEstimated weighted- average dumping margin (percent)
Shanxi Guanjiaying Flange Forging Group Co., Ltd257.11
China-wide Entity257.11

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of subject merchandise 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, as discussed below. Further, pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), Commerce will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price, as indicated in the chart above as follows: (1) For the producer/exporter combinations listed in the table above, the cash deposit rate is equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin listed for that combination in the table; (2) for all combinations of China producers/exporters of merchandise under consideration that have not established eligibility for their own separate rates, the cash deposit rate will be equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for the China-wide entity; and (3) for all third-country exporters of merchandise under consideration not listed in the table above, the cash deposit rate is the cash deposit rate applicable to the China producer/exporter combination (or the China-wide entity) that supplied that third-country exporter.

As described in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, in this preliminary determination, no adjustments pursuant to section 777A(f) and 772(c)(1)(C) of the Act are being made for cash deposit purposes.

These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

Disclosure

Normally, Commerce discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with a preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because Commerce preliminarily applied AFA to the individually examined company participating in this investigation, in accordance with section 776 of the Act, and the applied AFA rate is based solely on the petition, there are no calculations to disclose.

Verification

Because the mandatory respondents in this investigation did not provide information requested by Commerce and Commerce preliminarily determines each of the mandatory respondents to have been uncooperative, verification will not be conducted.

Public Comment

Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than 30 days after the date of publication of the preliminary determination, unless the Secretary alters the time limit. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.[9] Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this investigation are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, whether any participant is a foreign national, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

Final Determination

Section 735(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1) provide that Commerce will issue the final determination within 75 days after the date of its preliminary determination. Accordingly, Commerce will make its final determination no later than 75 days after the signature date of this preliminary determination.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If the final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after the final determination whether imports of the subject merchandise are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

Notification to Interested Parties

This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

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Dated: March 19, 2018.

Gary Taverman,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are certain forged stainless steel flanges, whether unfinished, semi-finished, or finished (certain forged stainless steel flanges). Certain forged stainless steel flanges are generally manufactured to, but not limited to, the material specification of ASTM/ASME A/SA182 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications. Certain forged stainless steel flanges are made in various grades such as, but not limited to, 304, 304L, 316, and 316L (or combinations thereof). The term “stainless steel” used in this scope refers to an alloy steel containing, by actual weight, 1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or without other elements.

Unfinished stainless steel flanges possess the approximate shape of finished stainless steel flanges and have not yet been machined to final specification after the initial forging or like operations. These machining processes may include, but are not limited to, boring, facing, spot facing, drilling, tapering, threading, beveling, heating, or compressing. Semi-finished stainless steel flanges are unfinished stainless steel flanges that have undergone some machining processes.Start Printed Page 13246

The scope includes six general types of flanges. They are: (1) Weld neck, generally used in butt-weld line connection; (2) threaded, generally used for threaded line connections; (3) slip-on, generally used to slide over pipe; (4) lap joint, generally used with stub-ends/butt-weld line connections; (5) socket weld, generally used to fit pipe into a machine recession; and (6) blind, generally used to seal off a line. The sizes and descriptions of the flanges within the scope include all pressure classes of ASME B16.5 and range from one-half inch to twenty-four inches nominal pipe size. Specifically excluded from the scope of these orders are cast stainless steel flanges. Cast stainless steel flanges generally are manufactured to specification ASTM A351.

The country of origin for certain forged stainless steel flanges, whether unfinished, semi-finished, or finished is the country where the flange was forged. Subject merchandise includes stainless steel flanges as defined above that have been further processed in a third country. The processing includes, but is not limited to, boring, facing, spot facing, drilling, tapering, threading, beveling, heating, or compressing, and/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 stainless steel flanges.

Merchandise subject to the investigation is typically imported under headings 7307.21.1000 and 7307.21.5000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). While HTSUS subheadings and ASTM specifications are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

Appendix II

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Period of Investigation

IV. Scope Comments

V. Scope of the Investigation

VI. Discussion of the Methodology

A. Non-Market Economy Country

B. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Comments

C. Separate Rates

D. GJY

E. China-Wide Entity

F. Use of Facts Otherwise Available With an Adverse Inferencce

VII. Adjustment Under Section 777(A)(f) of the Act

VIII. Adjustments to Cash Deposit Rates for Export Subsidies

IX. Verification

X. Conclusion

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Footnotes

1.  See Stainless Steel Flanges from India and the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 82 FR 42649 (September 11, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Stainless Steel Flanges from India and the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 83 FR 1025 (January 9, 2018).

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3.  See Memorandum, for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

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4.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Stainless Steel Flanges from People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

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

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6.  See Initiation Notice.

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7.  See Initiation Notice at 42652-53.

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8.  See Enforcement and Compliance's Policy Bulletin No. 05.1, regarding, “Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries,” (April 5, 2005) (Policy Bulletin 05.1), available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/​policy/​bull05-1.pdf.

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9.  See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

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[FR Doc. 2018-06153 Filed 3-27-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P