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Notice

Wooden Cabinets and Vanities and Components Thereof 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 wooden cabinets and vanities and components thereof (wooden cabinets and vanities) from the People's Republic of China (China). The period of investigation is January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Interested parties Start Printed Page 39799are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable August 12, 2019.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benito Ballesteros (Ancientree), Christian Llinas (Dalian Meisen), or Justin Neuman (Rizhao Foremost), 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) 482-7425, (202) 482-4877, and (202) 482-0486, 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 April 2, 2019.[1] On May 17, 2019, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation to August 5, 2019.[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 wooden cabinets and vanities 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, 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.[6]

Commerce notes that, in making these findings, it 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.[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 wooden cabinets and vanities from China based on a request made by the petitioner.[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 December 16, 2019, 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 calculated estimated countervailable subsidy rates individually for The Ancientree Cabinet Company Co., Ltd. (Ancientree), Dalian Meisen Woodworking Co., Ltd. (Dalian Meisen), and Rizhao Foremost Woodwork Manufacturing Company Ltd. (Rizhao Foremost), that are not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available. As calculating the all-others rate using a weighted-average of the estimated subsidy rates individually calculated for the examined respondents would reveal each company's business proprietary sales data, we are using a simple average of the calculated subsidy rates to establish the all-others rate.

Preliminary Determination

Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated countervailable subsidy rates exist:

CompanySubsidy rate  (percent)
The Ancientree Cabinet Co., Ltd 910.97
Dalian Meisen Woodworking Co., Ltd 1016.49
Rizhao Foremost Woodwork Manufacturing Company Ltd 1121.78
Henan AiDiJia Furniture Co., Ltd229.24
Deway International Trade Co., Ltd229.24
All Others16.41
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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.[12] 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, 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 pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

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Dated: August 5, 2019.

Jeffrey I. Kessler,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise subject to this investigation consists of wooden cabinets and vanities that are for permanent installation (including floor mounted, wall mounted, ceiling hung or by attachment of plumbing), and wooden components thereof. Wooden cabinets and vanities and wooden components are made substantially of wood products, including solid wood and engineered wood products (including those made from wood particles, fibers, or other wooden materials such as plywood, strand board, block board, particle board, or fiberboard), or bamboo. Wooden cabinets and vanities consist of a cabinet box (which typically includes a top, bottom, sides, back, base blockers, ends/end panels, stretcher rails, toe kicks, and/or shelves) and may or may not include a frame, door, drawers and/or shelves. Subject merchandise includes wooden cabinets and vanities with or without wood veneers, wood, paper or other overlays, or laminates, with or without non-wood components or trim such as metal, marble, glass, plastic, or other resins, whether or not surface finished or unfinished, and whether or not completed.

Wooden cabinets and vanities are covered by the investigation whether or not they are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, faucets, metal plumbing, sinks and/or sink bowls, or countertops. If wooden cabinets or vanities are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, such merchandise, only the wooden cabinet or vanity is covered by the scope.

Subject merchandise includes the following wooden component parts of cabinets and vanities: (1) Wooden cabinet and vanity frames (2) wooden cabinet and vanity boxes (which typically include a top, bottom, sides, back, base blockers, ends/end panels, stretcher rails, toe kicks, and/or shelves), (3) wooden cabinet or vanity doors, (4) wooden cabinet or vanity drawers and drawer components (which typically include sides, backs, bottoms, and faces), (5) back panels and end panels, (6) and desks, shelves, and tables that are attached to or incorporated in the subject merchandise.

Subject merchandise includes all unassembled, assembled and/or “ready to assemble” (RTA) wooden cabinets and vanities, also commonly known as “flat packs,” except to the extent such merchandise is already covered by the scope of antidumping and countervailing duty orders on Hardwood Plywood from the People's Republic of China. See Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Antidumping Duty Order, 83 FR 504 (January 4, 2018); Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 83 FR 513 (January 4, 2018). RTA wooden cabinets and vanities are defined as cabinets or vanities packaged so that at the time of importation they may include: (1) Wooden components required to assemble a cabinet or vanity (including drawer faces and doors); and (2) parts (e.g., screws, washers, dowels, nails, handles, knobs, adhesive glues) required to assemble a cabinet or vanity. RTAs may enter the United States in one or in multiple packages.

Subject merchandise also includes wooden cabinets and vanities and in-scope components that have been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to one or more of the following: Trimming, cutting, notching, punching, drilling, painting, staining, finishing, assembly, 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 product.

Excluded from the scope of this investigation, if entered separate from a wooden cabinet or vanity are:

(1) Aftermarket accessory items which may be added to or installed into an interior of a cabinet and which are not considered a structural or core component of a wooden cabinet or vanity. Aftermarket accessory items may be made of wood, metal, plastic, composite material, or a combination thereof that can be inserted into a cabinet and which are utilized in the function of organization/accessibility on the interior of a cabinet; and include:

  • Inserts or dividers which are placed into drawer boxes with the purpose of organizing or dividing the internal portion of the drawer into multiple areas for the purpose of containing smaller items such as cutlery, utensils, bathroom essentials, etc.
  • Round or oblong inserts that rotate internally in a cabinet for the purpose of accessibility to foodstuffs, dishware, general supplies, etc.

(2) Solid wooden accessories including corbels and rosettes, which serve the primary purpose of decoration and personalization.Start Printed Page 39801

(3) Non-wooden cabinet hardware components including metal hinges, brackets, catches, locks, drawer slides, fasteners (nails, screws, tacks, staples), handles, and knobs.

Also excluded from the scope of this investigation are:

(1) All products covered by the scope of the antidumping duty order on Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China. See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China, 70 FR 329 (January 4, 2005).

(2) All products covered by the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on Hardwood Plywood from the People's Republic of China. See Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Antidumping Duty Order, 83 FR 504 (January 4, 2018); Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 83 FR 513 (January 4, 2018).

Imports of subject merchandise are classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) statistical numbers 9403.40.9060 and 9403.60.8081. The subject component parts of wooden cabinets and vanities may be entered into the United States under HTSUS statistical number 9403.90.7080. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation 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. Diversification of China's Economy

VIII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

IX. Subsidies Valuation

X. Benchmarks and Interest Rates

XI. Analysis of Programs

XII. ITC Notification

XIII. Recommendation

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Footnotes

1.  See Wooden Cabinets and Vanities and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 84 FR 12581 (April 2, 2019) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Wooden Cabinets and Vanities and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination, 84 FR 22437 (May 17, 2019).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination of the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Wooden Cabinets and Vanities and Components Thereof 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 petitioner, “Wooden Cabinets and Vanities and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Request to Align Countervailing Duty Investigation Final Determination with Antidumping Duty Investigation Final Determination,” dated July 19, 2019.

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9.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Ancientree: Jiangsu Hongjia Wood Co., Ltd. (Jiangsu Hongjia) and Shanghai Hongjia Wood Co., Ltd. (Shanghai Hongjia).

10.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Dalian Meisen: Dalian Hechang Technology Development Co., Ltd. (Dalian Hechang).

11.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Rizhao Foremost: Foremost Worldwide Co., Ltd., and Rizhao Foremost Landbridge Wood Industries Co., Ltd.

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

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[FR Doc. 2019-17198 Filed 8-9-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P