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Notice

Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks From the Federal Republic of Germany: 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 forged steel fluid end blocks (fluid end blocks) from the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany) for the period of investigation (POI) January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable May 26, 2020.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bob Palmer or Joseph Dowling, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue Start Printed Page 31455NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-9068 or (202) 482-1646, 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 January 15, 2020.[1] On February 27, 2020, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation to May 18, 2020.[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. 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 product covered by this investigation is forged steel fluid end blocks from Germany. 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 preliminary determination and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.[6] Commerce is preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. See the revised scope in Appendix I.

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 to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.[7]

Commerce notes that, in making these findings, it relied, in part, on facts available and, because Commerce finds that one of the respondents did not act to the best of its ability to respond to Commerce's requests for information, Commerce drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.[8] 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 determinations in the concurrent antidumping duty (AD) investigations of forged steel fluid end blocks from Germany, India, and Italy, based on a request made by the petitioners.[9] Consequently, the final CVD determination will be issued on the same date as the final AD determinations, which are currently scheduled to be issued no later than September 29, 2020, 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 individual estimated countervailable subsidy rates for BGH Edelstahl Siegen GmbH and Schmiedewerke Gröditz GmbH that are not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available. Commerce calculated the all-others rate using a weighted average of the individual estimated subsidy rates calculated for the examined respondents using each company's publicly-ranged sales data.[10]

Preliminary Determination

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

CompanySubsidy rate ad valorem (percent)
BGH Edelstahl Siegen GmbH 115.25
Schmiedewerke Gröditz GmbH 126.06
voestalpine Bohler Group10.04
All Others5.61

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, Start Printed Page 31456Commerce 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

All interested parties will have the opportunity to submit case and rebuttal briefs on the preliminary scope determination. The deadline to submit these comments will be no later than 30 days after the publication of the preliminary determinations of the CVD investigations of fluid end blocks from Germany, India, Italy, and China in the Federal Register . Scope rebuttal briefs (which are limited to issues raised in the scope briefs) may be submitted no later than seven days after the deadline for the scope briefs. These deadlines apply to the AD and CVD fluid end blocks investigations, regardless of the deadlines of the preliminary determinations in the AD investigations. For all scope briefs and rebuttals thereto, parties must file identical documents simultaneously on the records of all the ongoing AD and CVD fluid end blocks investigations. No new factual information or business proprietary information may be included in either scope briefs or rebuttal scope briefs.

Case briefs or other written comments regarding non-scope matters 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 seven days after the deadline date for case briefs.[13] 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. Note that Commerce has modified certain of its requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information, until July 17, 2020, unless extended.[14]

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its determination. Pursuant to section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if the final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final injury 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: May 18, 2020.

Jeffrey I. Kessler,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are forged steel fluid end blocks (fluid end blocks), whether in finished or unfinished form, and which are typically used in the manufacture or service of hydraulic pumps.

The term “forged” is an industry term used to describe the grain texture of steel resulting from the application of localized compressive force. Illustrative forging standards include, but are not limited to, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications A668 and A788.

For purposes of this investigation, the term “steel” denotes metal containing the following chemical elements, by weight: (i) Iron greater than or equal to 60 percent; (ii) nickel less than or equal to 8.5 percent; (iii) copper less than or equal to 6 percent; (iv) chromium greater than or equal to 0.4 percent, but less than or equal to 20 percent; and (v) molybdenum greater than or equal to 0.15 percent, but less than or equal to 3 percent. Illustrative steel standards include, but are not limited to, American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) grades 4130, 4135, 4140, 4320, 4330, 4340, 8630, 15-5, 17-4, F6NM, F22, F60, and XM25, as well as modified varieties of these grades.

The products covered by this investigation are: (1) Cut-to-length fluid end blocks with an actual height (measured from its highest point) of 8 inches (203.2 mm) to 40 inches (1,016.0 mm), an actual width (measured from its widest point) of 8 inches (203.2 mm) to 40 inches (1,016.0 mm), and an actual length (measured from its longest point) of 11 inches (279.4 mm) to 75 inches (1,905.0 mm); and (2) strings of fluid end blocks with an actual height (measured from its highest point) of 8 inches (203.2 mm) to 40 inches (1,016.0 mm), an actual width (measured from its widest point) of 8 inches (203.2 mm) to 40 inches (1,016.0 mm), and an actual length (measured from its longest point) up to 360 inches (9,144.0 mm).

The products included in the scope of this investigation have a tensile strength of at least 70 KSI (measured in accordance with ASTM A370) and a hardness of at least 140 HBW (measured in accordance with ASTM E10).

A fluid end block may be imported in finished condition (i.e., ready for incorporation into a pump fluid end assembly without further finishing operations) or unfinished condition (i.e., forged but still requiring one or more finishing operations before it is ready for incorporation into a pump fluid end assembly). Such finishing operations may include: (1) Heat treating; (2) milling one or more flat surfaces; (3) contour machining to custom shapes or dimensions; (4) drilling or boring holes; (5) threading holes; and/or (6) painting, varnishing, or coating.

Excluded from the scope of this investigation are fluid end block assemblies Start Printed Page 31457which (1) include (a) plungers and related housings, adapters, gaskets, seals, and packing nuts, (b) valves and related seats, springs, seals, and cover nuts, and (c) a discharge flange and related seals, and (2) are otherwise ready to be mated with the “power end” of a hydraulic pump without the need for installation of any plunger, valve, or discharge flange components, or any other further manufacturing operations.

The products included in the scope of this investigation may enter under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7218.91.0030, 7218.99.0030, 7224.90.0015, 7224.90.0045, 7326.19.0010, 7326.90.8688, or 8413.91.9055. While these HTSUS subheadings 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. Scope Comments

IV. Scope of the Investigation

V. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences

VI. Subsidies Valuation

VII. Analysis of Programs

VIII. Programs Preliminarily Determined to Be Not Used during the POI

IX. Programs for Which Additional Information is Necessary

X. Conclusion

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Footnotes

1.  See Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks from the Federal Republic of Germany, India, Italy and the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 85 FR 2385 (January 15, 2020) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks from the Federal Republic of Germany, India, Italy, and the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigations: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigations, 85 FR 11336 (February 27, 2020).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination of the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks from the Federal Republic of Germany,” 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, “Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks from the Federal Republic of Germany, India, Italy, and the People's Republic of China: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum).

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7.  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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8.  See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

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9.  See Petitioners' Letter, “Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks from China, Germany, India, and Italy: Petitioner's Request for Alignment of the Countervailing Duty Investigations with the Concurrent Antidumping Duty Investigations,” dated April 1, 2020.

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10.  With two respondents under examination, Commerce normally calculates (A) a weighted-average of the estimated subsidy rates calculated for the examined respondents; (B) a simple average of the estimated subsidy rates calculated for the examined respondents; and (C) a weighted-average of the estimated subsidy rates calculated for the examined respondents using each company's publicly-ranged sales values. Commerce then compares (B) and (C) to (A) and selects the rate closest to (A) as the most appropriate rate for all other producers and exporters. See, e.g., 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). As complete publicly ranged sales data were available, Commerce used the publicly ranged sales data of the mandatory respondents. For a complete analysis of the data, see the All-Others' Rate Calculation Memorandum, dated concurrently with this notice.

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11.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with BGH Edelstahl Siegen GmbH: Boschgotthardshütte O. Breyer GmbH, BGH Edelstahlwerke GmbH, Rohstoff-, Press- und Schneidbetrieb Siegen GmbH, and SRG Schrott und Recycling GmbH.

12.  As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Schmiedewerke Gröditz GmbH: GMH Schmiedetechnik GmbH, Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH, and GHM Recycling GmbH.

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

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14.  See Temporary Rule Modifying AD/CVD Service Requirements Due to COVID-19; Extension of Effective Period, 85 FR 29615 (May 18, 2020).

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[FR Doc. 2020-11206 Filed 5-22-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P