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Notice

Steel Propane Cylinders 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 steel propane cylinders from the People's Republic of China (China) for the period of investigation December 1, 2017, through January 31, 2017. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable October 26, 2018.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Samuel Brummitt, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7851.

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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 June 18, 2018.[1] On August 1, 2018, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation until October 19, 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 steel propane cylinders from China. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

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. Commerce intends to issue its preliminary decision regarding comments concerning the scope of the AD and CVD investigations in the preliminary determination of the companion AD investigation.

Methodology

Commerce is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Act. For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we 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.[6] In making these findings, we relied, in part, on facts available and, because we find that one or more producers and exporters did not act to the best of their ability to respond our requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.[7] 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 steel propane cylinders from China based on a request made by the petitioners.[8] 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 March 4, 2019, unless postponed.[9]

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 TPA Metals and Machinery (SZ) Co. Ltd. (TPA Metals). Therefore, the only rate that is not zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts otherwise available is the rate calculated for Shandong Huanri Group Co. Ltd. (Huanri). Consequently, the rate calculated for Huanri 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 54087

CompanySubsidy rate (percent)
Guangzhou Lion Cylinders Co. Ltd145.37
Hubei Daly LPG Cylinder Manufacturer Co. Ltd145.37
Shandong Huanri Group Co. Ltd42.77
Taishan Machinery Factory Ltd145.37
TPA Metals and Machinery (SZ) Co. Ltd145.37
Wuyi Xilinde Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd145.37
Zhejiang Jucheng Steel Cylinder Co., Ltd145.37
All-Others42.77

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.[10] 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).

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Dated: October 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 subject to this investigation are steel cylinders for compressed or liquefied propane gas (steel propane cylinders) meeting the requirements of, or produced to meet the requirements of, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Specifications 4B, 4BA, or 4BW, or Transport Canada Specification 4BM, 4BAM, or 4BWM, or United Nations pressure receptacle standard ISO 4706. The scope includes steel propane cylinders regardless of whether they have been certified to these specifications before importation. Steel propane cylinders range from 2.5 pound nominal gas capacity (approximate 6 pound water capacity and approximate 4-6 pound tare weight) to 42 pound nominal gas capacity (approximate 100 pound water capacity and approximate 28-32 pound tare weight). Steel propane cylinders have two or fewer ports and may be imported assembled or unassembled (i.e., welded or brazed before or after importation), with or without all components (including collars, valves, gauges, tanks, foot rings, and overfill prevention devices), and coated or uncoated. Also included within the scope are drawn cylinder halves, unfinished propane cylinders, collars, and foot rings for steel propane cylinders.

An “unfinished” or “unassembled” propane cylinder includes drawn cylinder halves that have not been welded into a cylinder, cylinders that have not had flanges welded into the port hole(s), cylinders that are otherwise complete but have not had collars or foot rings welded to them, otherwise complete cylinders without a valve assembly attached, and cylinders that are otherwise complete except for testing, certification, and/or marking.

This investigation also covers steel propane cylinders that meet, are produced to meet, or are certified as meeting, other U.S. or Canadian government, international, or industry standards (including, for example, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), or American National Standard Institute (ANSI)), if they also meet, are produced to meet, or are certified as meeting USDOT Specification 4B, 4BA, or 4BW, or Transport Canada Specification 4BM, 4BAM, or 4BWM, or a United Nations pressure receptacle standard ISO 4706.

Subject merchandise also includes steel propane cylinders that have been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to, attachment of collars, foot rings, or handles by welding or brazing, heat treatment, painting, testing, certification, 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 in-scope steel propane cylinders.

Specifically excluded are seamless steel propane cylinders and propane cylinders made from stainless steel (i.e., steel containing at least 10.5 percent chromium by weight and less than 1.2 percent carbon by weight), aluminum, or composite fiber material. Composite fiber material is material consisting of the mechanical combination of two components: Fiber (typically glass, Start Printed Page 54088carbon, or aramid (synthetic polymer)) and a matrix material (typically polymer resin, ceramic, or metallic).

The merchandise subject to this investigation is properly classified under statistical reporting numbers 7311.00.0060 and 7311.00.0090 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS statistical reporting numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

Appendix II

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Scope Comments

IV. Scope of the Investigation

V. Alignment

VI. Injury Test

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

VIII. Diversification of China's Economy

IX. Subsidies Valuation

X. Benchmarks and Interest Rates

XI. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

XII. Analysis of Programs

XIII. Calculation of the All-Others Rate

XIV. ITC Notification

XV. Disclosure and Public Comment

XVI. Verification

XVII. Recommendation

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Footnotes

1.  See Steel Propane Cylinders from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 28189 (June 18, 2018) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Steel Propane Cylinders from the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 37463 (August 1, 2018).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Steel Propane Cylinders 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 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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7.  See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

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8.  See Letter from the petitioners, “Steel Propane Cylinders from the People's Republic of China—Petitioners” Request to Postpone Preliminary Determination,” dated July 20, 2018 (Request for Postponement).

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9.  See Steel Propane Cylinders from the People's Republic of China and Thailand: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair Value Investigations, 83 FR 51927 (October 15, 2018).

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

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[FR Doc. 2018-23453 Filed 10-25-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P