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Notice

Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod From Taiwan: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

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AGENCY:

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

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod (CASTR) from Taiwan is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable September 25, 2019.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nicholas Czajkowski or Ethan Talbot, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1395 or (202) 482-1030, respectively.

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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 published the notice of initiation of this investigation on March 19, 2019.[1] On June 14, 2019, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation and the revised deadline is now September 19, 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 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 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 product covered by this investigation is CASTR from Taiwan. 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. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this investigation, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.[6] The scope case briefs were due on August 28, 2019, 30 days after the publication of CASTR from China Preliminary CVD Determination. [7] Start Printed Page 50383There will be no further opportunity for comments on scope-related issues.[8]

Methodology

Commerce is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Pursuant to section 776(a) and (b) of the Act, Commerce has preliminarily determined to use facts available, and to apply an adverse inference when selecting from among the facts otherwise available for Quintain Steel Co. Ltd. (Quintain Steel), Top Forever Screws Co. Ltd. (Top Forever), Fastenal Asia Pacific Ltd. TW Repres (Fastenal), QST International Corporation (QST), and Ta Chen Steel Pipe Ltd. (Ta Chen). For a full description of the methodology underlying the preliminary determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

All-Others Rate

Sections 733(d)(1)(A)(ii) and 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provide that in the preliminary determination, Commerce shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all 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.

Pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act, if the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for all exporters or producers individually examined are zero, de minimis or determined based entirely on facts otherwise available, Commerce may use any reasonable method to establish the estimated weighted-average dumping margin for all-other producers or exporters. Commerce has preliminarily determined the estimated weighted-average dumping margin for the individually examined respondent under section 776 of the Act. Consequently, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act, Commerce's normal practice under these circumstances is to calculate the all-others rate as a simple average of the alleged dumping margin(s) from the petition.[9] In this investigation, only a single dumping margin was alleged in the petition, 32.26 percent (as calculated for the purposes of initiation).[10] As such, consistent with its practice, Commerce is preliminarily assigning the dumping margin alleged in the petition as the all-others rate to all exporters or producers not individually examined. For a full description of the methodology underlying Commerce's analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Preliminary Determination

Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist:

Exporter or producerWeighted- average dumping margin (percent)
Quintain Steel Co. Ltd* 32.26
Top Forever Screws Co. Ltd.* 32.26
Fastenal Asia Pacific Ltd. TW Repres* 32.26
QST International Corporation* 32.26
Ta Chen Steel Pipe Ltd* 32.26
All Others32.26
* Adverse Facts Available.

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 as described above, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the respondents 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

Normally, Commerce discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with a 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 the notice of preliminary determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because Commerce preliminarily applied AFA to the individually examined companies—Quintain Steel, Top Forever, Fastenal, QST, and Ta Chen—in this investigation, in accordance with section 776 of the Act, and the applied AFA rate is based solely on the highest dumping margin alleged in the petition, there are no calculations to disclose.

Verification

Because Quintain Steel, Top Forever, Fastenal, QST, and Ta Chen did not provide information requested by Commerce, and Commerce preliminarily determines that each of the examined respondents has been uncooperative, we will not conduct verification.

Public Comment

Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than 30 days after the date of publication of the preliminary determination. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues 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.

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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.

Final Determination

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 provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration, and 19 CFR 351.210(e)(1) further provides that Commerce may grant the request, unless Commerce finds compelling reasons to deny the request.

On August 18, 2019, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e), Ta Chen requested that Commerce postpone the final determination and agreed to extend the application of the provisional measures. However, we find that a compelling reason to deny the request to postpone the final determination exists because on August 28, 2019, Ta Chen informed Commerce that it would no longer participate in the investigation. Since there are no respondents participating in this investigation, there is no need to postpone the final determination, and we are thus compelled to deny the request. In accordance with section 735(a)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(e)(1), because a compelling reason for denial exists, we are not granting Ta Chen's request to postpone the final determination. Therefore, we intend to issue the final determination pursuant to section 735(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1).

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 these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

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).

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Dated: September 19, 2019.

Jeffrey I. Kessler,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by the scope of the investigation is carbon and alloy steel threaded rod. Steel threaded rod is certain threaded rod, bar, or studs, of carbon or alloy steel, having a solid, circular cross section of any diameter, in any straight length. Steel threaded rod is normally drawn, cold-rolled, threaded, and straightened, or it may be hot-rolled. In addition, the steel threaded rod, bar, or studs subject to the investigation are non-headed and threaded along greater than 25 percent of their total actual length. A variety of finishes or coatings, such as plain oil finish as a temporary rust protectant, zinc coating (i.e., galvanized, whether by electroplating or hot-dipping), paint, and other similar finishes and coatings, may be applied to the merchandise.

Steel threaded rod is normally produced to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications ASTM A36, ASTM A193 B7/B7m, ASTM A193 B16, ASTM A307, ASTM A329 L7/L7M, ASTM A320 L43, ASTM A354 BC and BD, ASTM A449, ASTM F1554-36, ASTM F1554-55, ASTM F1554 Grade 105, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) specification ASME B18.31.3, and American Petroleum Institute (API) specification API 20E. All steel threaded rod meeting the physical description set forth above is covered by the scope of the investigation, whether or not produced according to a particular standard.

Subject merchandise includes material matching the above description that has been finished, assembled, or packaged in a third country, including by cutting, chamfering, coating, or painting the threaded rod, by attaching the threaded rod to, or packaging it with, another product, or any other finishing, assembly, or packaging operation that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the threaded rod.

Carbon and alloy steel threaded rod are also included in the scope of the investigation whether or not imported attached to, or in conjunction with, other parts and accessories such as nuts and washers. If carbon and alloy steel threaded rod are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, such non-subject merchandise, only the threaded rod is included in the scope.

Excluded from the scope of the investigation are: (1) Threaded rod, bar, or studs which are threaded only on one or both ends and the threading covers 25 percent or less of the total actual length; and (2) stainless steel threaded rod, defined as steel threaded rod containing, by weight, 1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with our without other elements.

Excluded from the scope of the antidumping investigation on steel threaded rod from the People's Republic of China is any merchandise covered by the existing antidumping order on Certain Steel Threaded Rod from the People's Republic of China. See Certain Steel Threaded Rod from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Antidumping Duty Order, 74 FR 17154 (April 14, 2009).

Specifically excluded from the scope of the investigation is threaded rod that is imported as part of a package of hardware in conjunction with a ready-to-assemble piece of furniture.

Steel threaded rod is currently classifiable under subheadings 7318.15.5051, 7318.15.5056, and 7318.15.5090 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Subject merchandise may also enter under subheading 7318.15.2095 and 7318.19.0000 of the HTSUS. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope is dispositive.

Appendix II

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Period of Investigation

IV. Scope Comments

V. Scope of the Investigation

VI. Product Characteristics

VII. Application of Facts Available and Use of Adverse Inference

VIII. All-Others Rate

IX. Verification

X. Recommendation

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod from India, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 84 FR 10034 (March 19, 2019) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod From India, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 84 FR 27764 (June 14, 2019).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod from Taiwan,” 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 Notic e.

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6.  See Memorandum “Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod from India, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated July 22, 2019 (Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum).

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7.  The scope case briefs were due 30 days after the publication of Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 84 FR 36578 (July 29, 2019) (CASTR from China Preliminary CVD Determination). See the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum at 3. The deadline for the scope case briefs was Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Because the deadline for rebuttal briefs fell on Monday, September 2, 2019, a Federal holiday, the actual deadline for the scope rebuttal briefs was Tuesday, September 3, 2019. See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1) (“For both electronically filed and manually filed documents, if the applicable due date falls on a non-business day, the Secretary will accept documents that are filed on the next business day.”).

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8.  Parties were already permitted the opportunity to file scope case briefs. Case briefs, other written comments, and rebuttal briefs should not include scope-related issues. See Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum at 3.

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9.  See, e.g., Notice of Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Sodium Nitrite from the Federal Republic of Germany, 73 FR 21909, 21912 (April 23, 2008), unchanged in Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Sodium Nitrite from the Federal Republic of Germany, 73 FR 38986, 38987 (July 8, 2008), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 2; see also, Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Raw Flexible Magnets from Taiwan, 73 FR 39673, 39674 (July 10, 2008); Steel Threaded Rod from Thailand: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, 78 FR 79670, 79671 (December 31, 2013), unchanged in Steel Threaded Rod from Thailand: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 14476, 14477 (March 14, 2014).

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10.  See Commerce's Letter, “Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod from Taiwan,” dated March 13, 2019.

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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. 2019-20812 Filed 9-24-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P