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Notice

Acetone From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures

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AGENCY:

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

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that acetone from the Republic of Korea (Korea) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. The period of investigation is January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.

DATES:

Applicable September 24, 2019.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sean Carey, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3964.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This preliminary determination is made in accordance with section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Commerce initiated this investigation on March 11, 2019.[1] On July 15, 2019, Commerce postponed the deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation.[2] As a result, the revised deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is now September 17, 2019.

For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.[3] A list of topics included 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 https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main 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 the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by this investigation is acetone from Korea. 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] 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] After evaluating the comments, Commerce is preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice to clarify certain provisions and include a minimum acetone component of five percent. See the revised scope in Appendix I to this notice.

Methodology

Commerce is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Commerce has calculated export prices in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Constructed export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(b) of the Act. Normal value (NV) is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying the preliminary determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

All-Others Rate

Sections 733(d)(1)(ii) and 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provide that in the preliminary determination Commerce shall determine an estimated weighted-average dumping margin for all other exporters and producers not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Commerce calculated individual estimated weighted-average dumping margins of 47.70 percent for Kumho P&B Chemicals, Inc. (KPB) and 7.67 percent for LG Chem, Ltd. (LG Chem), the two individually examined companies in this investigation. Commerce calculated the rate for the companies not selected for individual examination using a weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins calculated for KPB and LG Chem, and each company's publicly-ranged U.S. sale quantities for the merchandise under consideration.[7] This margin was Start Printed Page 50006assigned to all other producers or exporters, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

Preliminary Determination

Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist during the period of investigation:

Exporter/producerEstimated weighted-average dumping margin (percent)
Kumho P&B Chemicals, Inc47.70
LG Chem, Ltd7.67
All Others21.80

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 733(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 Appendix I, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), Commerce will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin or the estimated all-others rate, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the exporter or producer listed above will be equal to the company-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margins determined in this preliminary determination; (2) if the exporter is not a respondent identified above, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the company-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for that producer of the subject merchandise; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin.

Disclosure

Commerce intends to disclose its calculations and analysis performed to interested parties in this preliminary determination within five days of any public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication 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.[8] 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.

Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioner. Section 351.210(e)(2) of Commerce's regulations requires that a request by exporters for postponement of the final determination be accompanied by a request for extension of the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

On August 22, 2019, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e), the petitioner requested that Commerce postpone the final determination until not later than 135 days after the publication of this preliminary determination.[9] On August 22, 2019, LG Chem requested that Commerce postpone the final determination until not later than 135 days after the publication of this notice, and to extend the provisional measures to a period not more than six months.[10] KPB made the same request to Commerce to postpone the final determination on August 26, 2019.[11] In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because: (1) The preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporter accounts for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, Commerce is postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, Commerce will make its final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its preliminary 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 Start Printed Page 50007these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

Notification to Importers

This notice also serves as an initial reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

Notification to Interested Parties

This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

Start Signature

Dated: September 17, 2019.

Jeffrey I. Kessler,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by this investigation is all grades of liquid or aqueous acetone. Acetone is also known under the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) name propan-2-one. In addition to the IUPAC name, acetone is also referred to as ß-ketopropane (or beta-ketopropane), ketone propane, methyl ketone, dimethyl ketone, DMK, dimethyl carbonyl, propanone, 2-propanone, dimethyl formaldehyde, pyroacetic acid, pyroacetic ether, and pyroacetic spirit. Acetone is an isomer of the chemical formula C3 H6 O, with a specific molecular formula of CH3 COCH3 or (CH3)2 CO.

The scope covers both pure acetone (with or without impurities) and acetone that is combined or mixed with other products, including, but not limited to, isopropyl alcohol, benzene, diethyl ether, methanol, chloroform, and ethanol. Acetone that has been combined with other products is included within the scope, regardless of whether the combining occurs in third countries.

The scope also includes acetone that is commingled with acetone from sources not subject to this investigation.

For combined and commingled products, only the acetone component is covered by the scope of this investigation. However, when acetone is combined with acetone components from sources not subject to this investigation, those third country acetone components may still be subject to other acetone investigations.

Notwithstanding the foregoing language, an acetone combination or mixture that is transformed through a chemical reaction into another product, such that, for example, the acetone can no longer be separated from the other products through a distillation process (e.g., methyl methacrylate (MMA) or Bisphenol A (BPA)), is excluded from this investigation.

A combination or mixture is excluded from these investigations if the total acetone component (regardless of the source or sources) comprises less than 5 percent of the combination or mixture, on a dry weight basis.

The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number for acetone is 67-64-1.

The merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 2914.11.1000 and 2914.11.5000. Combinations or mixtures of acetone may enter under subheadings in Chapter 38 of the HTSUS, including, but not limited to, those under heading 3814.00.1000, 3814.00.2000, 3814.00.5010, and 3814.00.5090. The list of items found under these HTSUS subheadings is non-exhaustive. Although these HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number 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. Period of Investigation

IV. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

V. Scope Comments

VI. Scope of the Investigation

VII. Affiliation

VIII. Discussion of the Methodology

IX. Date of Sale

X. Product Comparisons

XI. Export Price and Constructed Export Price

XII. Normal Value

XIII. Currency Conversion

XIV. Verification

XV. Conclusion

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Acetone from Belgium, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the Republic of South Africa, and Spain: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 84 FR 9755 (March 18, 2019) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Acetone from Belgium, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of South Africa: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 84 FR 33739 (July 15, 2019).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Acetone from the Republic of Korea” 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, “Acetone from Belgium, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, and Spain: Scope Comments Preliminary Decision Memorandum,” dated July 29, 2019.

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7.  With two respondents under examination, Commerce normally calculates (A) a weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins calculated for the examined respondents (as directed by the statute); (B) a simple average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins calculated for the examined respondents; and (C) a weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins calculated for the examined respondents using each company's publicly-ranged U.S. sale quantities for the merchandise under consideration. Because the calculation in (A) includes business proprietary information (BPI), Commerce then compares (B) and (C) to (A) and selects the rate closest to (A) as the most appropriate rate for all other producers or exporters not subject to individual examination. See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Review, and Revocation of an Order in Part, 75 FR 53661, 53663 (September 1, 2010). For a complete analysis including the BPI data, see the Memorandum to the File, “Preliminary Determination Calculation for the `All-Others' Rate” dated concurrently with this notice.

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

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9.  See Petitioner's Letter, “Acetone from Belgium, Korea, and South Africa: Petitioner's Consent to Postponement of Final Determinations,” dated August 22, 2019.

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10.  See LG Chem's Letter, “LG Chem's Request for Postponement of the Final Determination,” dated August 22, 2019.

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11.  See KPB's Letter, “Request to Extend the Deadline for the Final Determination,” dated August 26, 2019.

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[FR Doc. 2019-20561 Filed 9-23-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P