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Notice

Certain Quartz Surface Products 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 (Commerce) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain quartz surface products (quartz surface products) from the People's Republic of China (China).

DATES:

Applicable September 21, 2018.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Darla Brown or Joshua Tucker, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1791 or (202) 482-2044, respectively.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This preliminary determination is made in accordance with section 703(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Commerce published the notice of initiation of this investigation on May 16, 2018.[1] On June 29, 2018, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation, and the revised deadline is now September 14, 2018.[2] For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.[3] 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 at http://enforcement.trade.gov/​frn/​. The signed and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are quartz surface products from China. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

Period of Investigation

The period of investigation is January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

Scope Comments

In accordance with the preamble to Commerce's regulations,[4] the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage, (i.e., scope).[5] Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. 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 Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.[6] Commerce is not preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.

Methodology

Commerce is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Act. For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, Commerce preliminarily determines that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.[7]

In making these findings, Commerce relied, in part, on facts available and, because it finds that one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to Commerce's requests for information, it drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.[8] For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Alignment

As noted in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4), Commerce is aligning the final countervailing duty (CVD) determination in this investigation with the final determination in the companion antidumping duty (AD) investigation of quartz surface products from China based on a request made by the petitioner.[9] Consequently, the final CVD determination will be issued on the same date as the final AD determination, which is currently scheduled to be issued no later than December 10, 2018, unless postponed.

All-Others Rate

Sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act provide that in the preliminary determination, Commerce shall determine an estimated all-others rate for companies not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated subsidy rates established for those companies individually examined, excluding any zero and de minimis rates and any rates based entirely under section 776 of the Act. In this investigation, Commerce preliminarily assigned a rate based entirely on facts available to Fasa Industrial Corporation Limited and Foshan Hero Stone Co., Ltd. Therefore, the only rate that is not zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts otherwise available is the rate calculated for Foshan Yixin Stone Co., Ltd. (Foshan Yixin). Consequently, the rate calculated for Foshan Yixin is also assigned as the rate for all-other producers and exporters.

Preliminary Determination

Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated countervailable subsidy rates exist:Start Printed Page 47882

CompanySubsidy rate (percent)
Fasa Industrial Corporation Limited178.45
Foshan Hero Stone Co., Ltd.10178.45
Foshan Yixin Stone Co., Ltd34.38
All-Others34.38

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries 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. Further, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), Commerce will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the rates indicated above.

Disclosure

Commerce intends to disclose its calculations and analysis performed to interested parties in this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement, or if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

Verification

As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, Commerce intends to verify the information relied upon in making its final determination.

Public Comment

Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the last verification report is issued in this investigation. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.[11] 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.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its determination. 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.

Notification to Interested Parties

This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

Start Signature

Dated: September 14, 2018.

Gary Taverman,

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

End Signature

Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by the investigation is certain quartz surface products.[12] Quartz surface products consist of slabs and other surfaces created from a mixture of materials that includes predominately silica (e.g., quartz, quartz powder, cristobalite) as well as a resin binder (e.g., an unsaturated polyester). The incorporation of other materials, including, but not limited to, pigments, cement, or other additives does not remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation. However, the scope of the investigation only includes products where the silica content is greater than any other single material, by actual weight. Quartz surface products are typically sold as rectangular slabs with a total surface area of approximately 45 to 60 square feet and a nominal thickness of one, two, or three centimeters. However, the scope of this investigation includes surface products of all other sizes, thicknesses, and shapes. In addition to slabs, the scope of this investigation includes, but is not limited to, other surfaces such as countertops, backsplashes, vanity tops, bar tops, work tops, tabletops, flooring, wall facing, shower surrounds, fire place surrounds, mantels, and tiles. Certain quartz surface products are covered by the investigation whether polished or unpolished, cut or uncut, fabricated or not fabricated, cured or uncured, edged or not edged, finished or unfinished, thermoformed or not thermoformed, packaged or unpackaged, and regardless of the type of surface finish.

In addition, quartz surface products are covered by the investigation whether or not they are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, non-subject merchandise such as sinks, sink bowls, vanities, cabinets, and furniture. If quartz surface products are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, such non-subject merchandise, only the quartz surface product is covered by the scope.

Subject merchandise includes material matching the above description that has been finished, packaged, or otherwise fabricated in a third country, including by cutting, polishing, curing, edging, thermoforming, attaching to, or packaging with another product, or any other finishing, packaging, or fabrication that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the quartz surface products.

The scope of the investigation does not cover quarried stone surface products, such as granite, marble, soapstone, or quartzite. Specifically excluded from the scope of the investigation are crushed glass surface products. Crushed glass surface products are surface products in which the crushed glass content is greater than any other single material, by actual weight.

The products subject to the scope are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under the following subheading: 6810.99.0010. Subject merchandise may also enter under subheadings 6810.11.0010, 6810.11.0070, 6810.19.1200, 6810.19.1400, 6810.19.5000, 6810.91.0000, 6810.99.0080, 6815.99.4070, 2506.10.0010, 2506.10.0050, 2506.20.0010, 2506.20.0080. The HTSUS subheadings set forth above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope is dispositive.

Start Printed Page 47883

Appendix II

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Injury Test

IV. Application of the CVD Law to Imports From the China

V. Diversification of China's Economy

VI. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

VII. Subsidies Valuation

VIII. Benchmarks and Interest Rates

IX. Analysis of Programs

X. Conclusion

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Certain Quartz Surface Products from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 22618 (May 16, 2018) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Certain Quartz Surface Products from the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 30699 (June 29, 2018).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination of the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Quartz Surface Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

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

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5.  See Initiation Notice.

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6.  See Memorandum, “Certain Quartz Surface Products from the People's Republic of China: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum).

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7.  See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

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

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9.  See Letter from the petitioner, “Certain Quartz Surface Products from the People's Republic of China: Request to Align Determinations,” dated August 6, 2018. The petitioner in this investigation is Cambria Company LLC.

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10.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Foshan Hero Stone Co., Ltd.: Mingwei Quartz New Environmental Protection Materials Co., Ltd.; and Foshan Quartz Stone Imp & Exp Co., Ltd.

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

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12.  Quartz surface products may also generally be referred to as engineered stone or quartz, artificial stone or quartz, agglomerated stone or quartz, synthetic stone or quartz, processed stone or quartz, manufactured stone or quartz, and Bretonstone®.

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[FR Doc. 2018-20604 Filed 9-20-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P