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Notice

Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous From Canada: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 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 sodium sulfate anhydrous (sodium sulfate) from Canada 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 November 8, 2019.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Davina Friedmann, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0698.

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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 April 24, 2019.[1] On August 15, 2019, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation, and the revised deadline is now October 24, 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 sodium sulfate from Canada. 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] No interested party commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. Commerce is preliminarily not modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. See the 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.

Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

In accordance with section 733(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, Commerce preliminarily finds that critical circumstances do not exist for Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc. (SMM), or for all other producers and exporters. For a full description of the methodology and results of Commerce's critical circumstances analysis, 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 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.

Commerce calculated an individual estimated weighted-average dumping margin for SMM, the only individually examined exporter/producer in this investigation. Because the only individually calculated dumping margin is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, the estimated weighted-average dumping margin calculated for SMM is the margin assigned to all other producers and exporters, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.Start Printed Page 60376

Preliminary Determination

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

Exporter/producerEstimated weighted- average dumping margin (percent)
Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc9.85
All Others9.85

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 SMM will be equal to the company-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin determined in this preliminary determination; (2) if the exporter is not a respondent identified above, but the producer is SMM, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the company-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for SMM; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin. These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

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.[6] 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 provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

On October 1, 2019, and October 2, 2019, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e), SMM and the petitioners requested that Commerce postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.[7] 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 these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.[8]

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: October 24, 2019.

Jeffrey I. Kessler,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

The scope of this investigation covers sodium sulfate (Na2 SO4) (Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Number 7757-82-6) that is anhydrous (i.e., containing no water), regardless of purity, grade, color, production method, and form of packaging, in which the percentage of particles between 20 mesh and 100 mesh, based on U.S. mesh series screens, ranges from 10-95% and the percentage of particles finer than 100 mesh, based on U.S. mesh series screens, ranges from 5-90%.

Excluded from the scope of this investigation are specialty sodium sulfate anhydrous products, which are products whose particle distributions fall outside the described ranges. Glauber's salt (Na2 SO4·10H2 O), also known as sodium sulfate decahydrate, an intermediate product Start Printed Page 60377in the production of sodium sulfate anhydrous that has no known commercial uses, is not included within the scope of the investigation, although some end-users may mistakenly refer to sodium sulfate anhydrous as Glauber's salt. Other forms of sodium sulfate that are hydrous (i.e., containing water) are also excluded from the scope of the investigation.

The merchandise subject to this investigation is classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 2833.11.5010. Subject merchandise may also be classified under 2833.11.1000, 2833.11.5050, and 2833.19.0000. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Period of Investigation

IV. Scope of the Investigation

V. Scope Comments

VI. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

VII. Affiliation

VIII. Discussion of the Methodology

IX. Preliminary Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances, In Part

X. Currency Conversion

XI. Verification

XII. Conclusion

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous from Canada: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 84 FR 17138 (April 24, 2019) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous from Canada: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 84 FR 43580 (August 21, 2019).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous from Canada” 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, 84 FR at 17139.

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

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7.  See SMM's Letter, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous from Canada: Request for Postponement of Final Determination and Provisional Measures Period,” dated October 1, 2019; see also Petitioners' Letter, “Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous from Canada: Petitioner's Consent to Postponement of the Final Determination,” dated October 2, 2019.

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8.  See section 735(b)(2) of the Act.

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[FR Doc. 2019-24392 Filed 11-7-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P