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Notice

Subsidy Programs Provided by Countries Exporting Softwood Lumber and Softwood Lumber Products to the United States; Request for Comment

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AGENCY:

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

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) seeks public comment on any subsidies, including stumpage subsidies, provided by certain countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States during the period January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2018.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted within 30 days after publication of this notice.

ADDRESSES:

See the Submission of Comments section below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kristen Johnson or Eric B. Greynolds, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4793 or (202) 482-6071, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On June 18, 2008, section 805 of Title VIII of the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Softwood Lumber Act of 2008) was enacted into law. Under this provision, the Secretary of Commerce is mandated to submit to the appropriate Congressional committees a report every 180 days on any subsidy provided by countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States, including stumpage subsidies.

Commerce submitted its last subsidy report on June 20, 2018. As part of its newest report, Commerce intends to include a list of subsidy programs identified with sufficient clarity by the public in response to this notice.

Request for Comments

Given the large number of countries that export softwood lumber and softwood lumber products to the United States, we are soliciting public comment only on subsidies provided by countries whose exports accounted for at least one percent of total U.S. imports of softwood lumber by quantity, as classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule code 4407.1001 (which accounts for the vast majority of imports), during the period January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2018. Official U.S. import data published by the United States International Trade Commission's Tariff and Trade DataWeb indicate that four countries (Brazil, Canada, Germany, and Sweden) exported softwood lumber to the United States during that time period in amounts sufficient to account for at least one percent of U.S. imports of softwood lumber products. We intend to rely on similar previous six-month periods to identify the countries subject to future reports on softwood lumber subsidies. For example, we will rely on U.S. imports of softwood lumber and softwood lumber products during the period July 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018, to select the countries subject to the next report.

Under U.S. trade law, a subsidy exists where an authority: (i) Provides a financial contribution; (ii) provides any form of income or price support within the meaning of Article XVI of the GATT 1994; or (iii) makes a payment to a funding mechanism to provide a financial contribution to a person, or entrusts or directs a private entity to make a financial contribution, if providing the contribution would normally be vested in the government and the practice does not differ in substance from practices normally followed by governments, and a benefit is thereby conferred.[1]

Parties should include in their comments: (1) The country which provided the subsidy; (2) the name of the subsidy program; (3) a brief description (no more than 3-4 sentences) of the subsidy program; and (4) the government body or authority that provided the subsidy.

Submission of Comments

As specified above, to be assured of consideration, comments must be received no later than 30 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All comments must be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. ITA-2018-0002, unless the commenter does not have access to the internet. The materials in the docket will not be edited to remove identifying or contact information, and Commerce cautions against including any information in an electronic submission that the submitter does not want publicly disclosed. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF formats only.

Commenters who do not have access to the internet may submit the original and one electronic copy of each set of comments by mail or hand delivery/courier.

All comments should be addressed to 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, at U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 18022, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

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Dated: October 15, 2018.

James Maeder,

Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.

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Footnotes

1.  See section 771(5)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2018-22841 Filed 10-18-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P