Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.
Applicable July 29, 2020.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Charles Doss, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4474.
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Start Supplemental Information
On July 9, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) received a countervailing duty (CVD) petition concerning imports of certain metal lockers and parts thereof (metal lockers) from the People's Republic of China (China) filed in proper form on behalf of List Industries, Inc., Lyon LLC, Penco Products, Inc., and Tennsco LLC (collectively, the petitioners), domestic producers of metal lockers.
The Petition was accompanied by an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of metal lockers from China.
On July 13, 2020, Commerce requested supplemental information pertaining to certain aspects of the Petition in separate supplemental questionnaires.
Further, on July 22, 2020, Commerce held a conversation via telephone with counsel to the petitioners requesting further clarification regarding certain outstanding issues.
As part of these requests, Commerce asked that the petitioners provide further information regarding the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief. On July 16, 17, and 23, 2020, the petitioners filed responses to Commerce's supplemental questionnaires, which included revisions to the scope.
In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioners allege that the Government of China (GOC) is providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to producers of metal lockers in China and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing metal lockers in the United States. Consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(b), for those alleged programs on which we are initiating a CVD investigation, the Petition is supported by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting their allegations.
Commerce finds that the petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioners are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the requested CVD investigation.
Period of Investigation
Because the Petition was filed on July 9, 2020, the period of investigation (POI) Start Printed Page 47354is January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.
Scope of the Investigation
The merchandise covered by this investigation is metal lockers from China. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to this notice.
Comments on Scope of the Investigation
As discussed in the Preamble to Commerce's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope).
Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,
all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, Commerce requests that all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on August 18, 2020, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on August 28, 2020, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comment deadline.
Commerce requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must also be filed on the record of the concurrent AD investigation.
All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's (E&C) Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS), unless an exception applies.
An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due.
Pursuant to sections 702(b)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Act, Commerce notified the GOC of the receipt of the Petition and provided it the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petition.
On July 21, 2020, the GOC informed Commerce that it did not intend to hold consultations, but would instead provide written comments on the Petition 
and, thus, we did not hold consultations with the GOC. On July 27, 2020, the GOC provided comments on the Petition.
Determination of Industry Support for the Petition
Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, Commerce shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”
Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs Commerce to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both Commerce and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,
they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, Commerce's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.
Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).
With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation.
Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that metal lockers, as defined in the scope, constitute a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.
In determining whether the petitioners have standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioners provided their 2019 production of the Start Printed Page 47355domestic like product, as well as the 2019 production of DeBourgh Manufacturing, a supporter of the Petition.
The petitioners compared the production of the supporters of the Petition to the estimated total production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.
We relied on data provided by the petitioners for purposes of measuring industry support.
Our review of the data provided in the Petition, the First General Issues Supplement, Second General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioners have established industry support for the Petition.
First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, Commerce is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).
Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.
Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.
Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.
Because China is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.
Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation
The petitioners allege that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.
The petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and revenues; declines in production, capacity utilization, and shipments; and declines in operating income.
We assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, causation, as well as negligibility, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.
Initiation of CVD Investigation
Based upon our examination of the Petition and supplemental responses, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 702 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether imports of metal lockers from China benefit from countervailable subsidies conferred by the GOC. Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on all alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.
The Petition named 76 companies in China as producers/exporters of metal lockers.
Commerce intends to follow its standard practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy rates in this investigation. In the event Commerce determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon Commerce's resources, where appropriate, Commerce intends to select mandatory respondents based on quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires issued to the potential respondents. Commerce normally selects mandatory respondents in CVD investigations using U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) entry data for U.S. imports under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers listed in the scope of the investigation. However, for this investigation, the HTSUS number under which the subject merchandise would enter (i.e., 9403.20.0078) is a basket category under which non-subject merchandise may enter. Therefore, we cannot rely on CBP entry data in selecting respondents; however, since there are 76 producers and exporters identified in the Petition, Commerce has determined to limit the number of Q&V questionnaires that it will send out to exporters and producers based on CBP data for certain metal lockers from China during the POI under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States number listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix. Accordingly, Commerce will send Q&V questionnaires to the largest producers and exporters that are identified in the CBP data for which there is address information on the record.
In addition, Commerce will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on Enforcement and Compliance's website at https://www.trade.gov/ec-adcvd-case-announcements. Producers/exporters of metal lockers from China that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain the Q&V questionnaire from E&C's website. Responses to the Q&V questionnaire Start Printed Page 47356must be submitted by the relevant Chinese producers/exporters no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on August 12, 2020, which is two weeks from the signature date of this notice. All Q&V responses must be filed electronically via ACCESS An electronically filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the deadline noted above.
Concurrent with this notice, Commerce released CBP data on imports of metal lockers from China under administrative protective order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment on the CBP data must do so within three business days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of this investigation.
We further stated that we will not accept rebuttal comments.
Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on E&C's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.
Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS An electronically filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date noted above. Commerce intends to finalize its decisions regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.
Distribution of Copies of the Petition
In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the GOC via ACCESS Furthermore, to the extent practicable, Commerce will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).
Commerce will notify the ITC of its initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.
Preliminary Determination by the ITC
The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of metal lockers from China are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.
A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.
Otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.
Submission of Factual Information
Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by Commerce; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). Section 351.301(b) of Commerce's regulations requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 
and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.
Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.
Extensions of Time Limits
Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by Commerce. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301.
For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, Commerce may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, Commerce will inform parties in a letter or memorandum of the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting extension requests or factual information in this investigation.
Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.
Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).
Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable certification requirements.
Notification to Interested Parties
Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). Note that Commerce has temporarily modified certain of its requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information, until further notice.
This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).
Dated: July 29, 2020.
Jeffrey I. Kessler,
Assistant Secretary Enforcement and Compliance.
Appendix—Scope of the Investigation
The scope of this investigation covers certain metal lockers, with or without doors, and parts thereof (certain metal lockers). The subject certain metal lockers are metal storage devices less than 27 inches wide and less than 27 inches deep, whether floor standing, installed onto a base or wall-Start Printed Page 47357mounted. In a multiple locker assembly (whether a welded locker unit, otherwise assembled locker unit or knocked down unit or kit), the width measurement shall be based on the width of an individual locker not the overall unit dimensions. All measurements in this scope are based on actual measurements. The subject certain metal lockers typically include the bodies (back, side, shelf, top and bottom panels), door frames with or without doors which can be integrated into the sides or made separately, and doors. The subject metal lockers typically are made of flat-rolled metal, metal mesh and/or expanded metal, which includes but is not limited to alloy or non-alloy steel (whether or not galvanized or otherwise metallically coated for corrosion resistance), stainless steel, or aluminum, but the doors may also include transparent polycarbonate, Plexiglas or similar transparent material or any combination thereof. Metal mesh refers to both wire mesh and expanded metal mesh. Wire mesh is a wire product in which the horizontal and transverse wires are welded at the cross-section in a grid pattern. Expanded metal mesh is made by slitting and stretching metal sheets to make a screen of diamond or other shaped openings. The doors are configured with or for a handle or other device that permit the use of a mechanical or electronic lock or locking mechanism, including, but not limited to: A combination lock, a padlock, a key lock, lever or knob lock, and a wireless lock. The subject locker may also enter with the lock or locking device included or installed. The doors or body panels may also include vents (including wire mesh or expanded metal mesh vents) or perforations. The bodies, body components and doors are typically powder coated, otherwise painted or epoxy coated or may be unpainted. The subject merchandise includes metal lockers imported either as welded or otherwise assembled units (ready for installation or use) or as knocked down units or kits (requiring assembly prior to installation or use).
The subject lockers may be shipped as individual or multiple locker units preassembled, welded, or combined into banks or tiers for ease of installation or as sets of component parts, bulk packed (i.e., all backs in one package, crate, rack, carton or container and sides in another package, crate, rack, carton or container) or any combination thereof. The knocked down lockers are shipped unassembled requiring a supplier, contractor or end-user to assemble the individual lockers and locker banks prior to installation.
The scope also includes all parts and components of lockers made from flat-rolled metal or expanded metal (e.g., doors, frames, shelves, tops, bottoms, backs, side panels, etc.) as well as accessories that are attached to the lockers when installed (including, but not limited to, slope tops, bases, expansion filler panels, dividers, recess trim, decorative end panels, and end caps) that may be imported together with lockers or other locker components or on their own. The particular accessories listed for illustrative purposes are defined as follows:
a. Slope tops: Slope tops are slanted metal panels or units that fit on the tops of the lockers and that slope from back to front to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris on top of the locker and to discourage the use of the tops of lockers as storage areas. Slope tops come in various configurations including, but not limited to, unit slope tops (in place of flat tops), slope hoods made of a back, top and end pieces which fit over multiple units and convert flat tops to a sloping tops, and slope top kits that convert flat tops to sloping tops and include tops, backs and ends.
b. Bases: Locker bases are panels made from flat-rolled metal that either conceal the legs of the locker unit, or for lockers without legs, provide a toe space in the front of the locker and conceal the flanges for floor anchoring.
c. Expansion filler panel: Expansion filler panels or fillers are metal panels that attach to locker units to cover columns, pipes or other obstacles in a row of lockers or fill in gaps between the locker and the wall. Fillers may also include metal panels that are used on the sides or the top of the lockers to fill gaps.
d. Dividers: Dividers are metal panels that divide the space within a locker unit into different storage areas.
e. Recess trim: Recess trim is a narrow metal trim that bridges the gap between lockers and walls or soffits when lockers are recessed into a wall.
f. Decorative end panels: End panels fit onto the exposed ends of locker units to cover holes, bolts, nuts, screws and other fasteners. They typically are painted to match the lockers.
g. End caps: End caps fit onto the exposed ends of locker units to cover holes, bolts, nuts, screws and other fasteners.
The scope also includes all hardware for assembly and installation of the lockers and locker banks that are imported with or shipped, invoiced or sold with the imported locker or locker system.
Excluded from the scope are wire mesh lockers. Wire mesh lockers are those with each of the following characteristics:
(1) At least three sides, including the door, made from wire mesh;
(2) the width and depth each exceed 25 inches; and
(3) the height exceeds 90 inches.
Also excluded are lockers with bodies made entirely of plastic, wood or any nonmetallic material.
Also excluded are exchange lockers with multiple individual locking doors mounted on one master locking door to access multiple units. Excluded exchange lockers have multiple individual storage spaces, typically arranged in tiers, with access doors for each of the multiple individual storage space mounted on a single frame that can be swung open to allow access to all of the individual storage spaces at once. For example, uniform or garment exchange lockers are designed for the distinct function of securely and hygienically exchanging clean and soiled uniforms. Thus, excluded exchange lockers are a multi-access point locker whereas covered lockers are a single access point locker for personal storage.
Also excluded are metal lockers that are imported with an installed electronic, internet-enabled locking device that permits communication or connection between the locker's locking device and other internet connected devices.
Also excluded are hardware and accessories for assembly and installation of the lockers, locker banks and storage systems that are separately imported in bulk and are not incorporated into a locker, locker system or knocked down kit at the time of importation. Such excluded hardware and accessories include but are not limited to bulk imported rivets, nuts, bolts, hinges, door handles, locks, door/frame latching components, and coat hooks. Accessories of sheet metal, including but not limited to end panels, bases, dividers and sloping tops, are not excluded accessories.
The subject certain metal lockers are classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 9403.20.0078. Parts of subject certain metal lockers are classified under HTS subheading 9403.90.8041. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.
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[FR Doc. 2020-17031 Filed 8-4-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P