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Notice

Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing 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 producers and/or exporters subject to this investigation received countervailable subsidies. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable February 25, 2019.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Emily Halle or Keith Haynes, 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) 482-0176 or (202) 482-5139, respectively.

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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 September 5, 2018.[1] On October 15, 2018, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation, and reset the deadline to January 7, 2019.[2] Subsequently, Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the partial federal government closure from December 22, 2018, through the resumption of operations on January 29, 2019.[3] The revised deadline for the preliminary determination decision is now February 14, 2019.

For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.[4] 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 certain steel wheels 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, the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product Start Printed Page 5990coverage (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 antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations in the preliminary determination of the companion AD investigation.

Period of Investigation

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

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 confers a benefit on the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.[6] For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

In making these findings, Commerce relied, in part, on facts available. Further, because one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to Commerce's requests for information, an adverse inference was drawn, 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.

Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

In accordance with section 703(e)(1) of the Act, Commerce preliminarily determines that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of certain steel wheels from China for Zhejiang Jingu Company Limited (Zhejiang Jingu), Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems (Group) (Xingmin), and all other exporters or producers not individually examined. For a full description of the methodology and results of Commerce's analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Alignment

In accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4), and based on the petitioner's request,[8] we are aligning the final CVD determination in this investigation with the final determination in the companion AD investigation of certain steel wheels from China. 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 July 1, 2019, unless postponed.

All-Others Rate

Sections 703(d)(1)(A)(i) 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 calculated a rate that is not zero, de minimis or based entirely on the facts available for Zhejiang Jingu. Specifically, Zhejiang Jingu is the only participating respondent with a rate that is not zero, de minimis or based entirely on the facts available. Consequently, the rate calculated for Zhejiang Jingu 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:

Producer/exporterSubsidy rate (percent)
Zhejiang Jingu Company Limited 958.30
Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems (Group) 10293.27
All-Others58.30

Suspension of Liquidation

Section 703(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. Commerce preliminarily finds that critical circumstances exist for imports of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by Zhejiang Jingu, Xingmin, and all other exporters or producers. In accordance with section 703(e)(2)(A) of the Act, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend the liquidation of entries to unliquidated entries of merchandise from the exporters/producers identified in this paragraph that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice.

Furthermore, 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 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 Start Printed Page 5991issues 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 Commerce's final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after Commerce's 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: February 14, 2019.

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 scope of this investigation is certain on-the-road steel wheels, discs, and rims for tubeless tires with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 inches to 16.5 inches, regardless of width. Certain on-the-road steel wheels with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 inches to 16.5 inches within the scope are generally for road and highway trailers and other towable equipment, including, inter alia, utility trailers, cargo trailers, horse trailers, boat trailers, recreational trailers, and towable mobile homes. The standard widths of certain on-the-road steel wheels are 4 inches, 4.5 inches, 5 inches, 5.5 inches, 6 inches, and 6.5 inches, but all certain on-the-road steel wheels, regardless of width, are covered by the scope.

The scope includes rims and discs for certain on-the-road steel wheels, whether imported as an assembly, unassembled, or separately. The scope includes certain on-the-road steel wheels regardless of steel composition, whether cladded or not cladded, whether finished or not finished, and whether coated or uncoated. The scope also includes certain on-the-road steel wheels with discs in either a “hub-piloted” or “stud-piloted” mounting configuration, though the stud-piloted configuration is most common in the size range covered.

All on-the-road wheels sold in the United States must meet Standard 110 or 120 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which requires a rim marking, such as the “DOT” symbol, indicating compliance with applicable motor vehicle standards. See 49 CFR 571.110 and § 571.120. The scope includes certain on-the-road steel wheels imported with or without NHTSA's required markings.

Certain on-the-road steel wheels imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the wheel and/or with a valve stem or rims imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the rim and/or with a valve stem are included in the scope of this investigation. However, if the steel wheels or rims are imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the wheel or rim and/or with a valve stem attached, the tire and/or valve stem is not covered by the scope.

Excluded from this scope are the following:

(1) steel wheels for use with tube-type tires; such tires use multi piece rims, which are two-piece and three-piece assemblies and require the use of an inner tube;

(2) aluminum wheels;

(3) certain on-the-road steel wheels that are coated entirely with chrome; and

(4) steel wheels that do not meet Standard 110 or 120 of the NHTSA's requirements other than the rim marking requirements found in 49 CFR 571.110S4.4.2 and § 571.120S5.2.

Certain on-the-road steel wheels subject to this investigation are properly classifiable under the following category of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 8716.90.5035 which covers the exact product covered by the scope whether entered as an assembled wheel or in components. Certain on-the-road steel wheels entered with a tire mounted on them may be entered under HTSUS 8716.90.5059 (Trailers and semi-trailers; other vehicles, not mechanically propelled, parts, wheels, other, wheels with other tires) (a category that will be broader than what is covered by the scope). While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject 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. Respondent Selection

VII. Injury Test

VIII. Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

IX. Application of the CVD Law to Imports from China

X. Diversification of China's Economy

XI. Subsidies Valuation

XII. Benchmarks

XIII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

XIV. Analysis of Programs

XV. Calculation of the All-Others Rate

XVI. ITC Notification

XVII. Disclosure and Public Comment

XVIII. Verification

XIX. Recommendation

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 45100 (September 5, 2018) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 51926 (October 15, 2018).

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3.  See Memorandum to the Record from 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, “Deadlines Affected by the Partial Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 28, 2019. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 40 days.

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4.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the 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; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997) (Preamble); see also 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 petitioner, “Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China (C-570-091)—Petitioner's Request for Alignment of Countervailing Duty Investigation Final Determination Deadline with Antidumping Investigation Final Determination Deadline,” dated December 12, 2018.

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9.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has assigned Zhejiang Jingu's rate to each of the entities named as cross-owned in its affiliation questionnaire response: Shanghai Yata Industry Company Limited; Shangdong Jingu Auto Parts Co., Ltd.; An'Gang Jingu (Hangzhou) Metal Materials Co., Ltd.; Zhejiang Wheel World Co., Ltd.; and Hangzhou Jingu New Energy Development Co. Ltd. Zhejiang Jingu's rate has also been assigned to Zhejiang Jingu Automobile Components, which was the prior name of Zhejiang Jingu.

10.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has assigned Xingmin's rate to each of the entities for which Xingmin provided an initial questionnaire response: Sino-Tex (Longkou) Wheel Manufacturers Inc.; Tangshan Xingmin Wheel Co., Ltd.; and Xianning Xingmin Wheel 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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[FR Doc. 2019-03131 Filed 2-22-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P