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Notice

Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: 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.

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SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of passenger vehicle and light truck tires (passenger tires) from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam). The period of investigation is January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable November 10, 2020.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Romani or Thomas Schauer, 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) 482-0198 or (202) 482-0410, 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 June 29, 2020.[1] On August 4, 2020, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation and the revised deadline is now October 30, 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. 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 passenger tires from Vietnam. 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 antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of passenger tires as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. We are currently evaluating the scope comments filed by the interested parties. Commerce intends to issue its preliminary decision regarding the scope of the AD and CVD investigations in the preliminary determinations of the companion AD investigations, the deadline for which is December 29, 2020.[6] We will incorporate the scope decisions from the AD investigations into the scope of the final CVD determination for this investigation after considering any relevant comments submitted in scope case and rebuttal briefs.[7]

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 gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.[8]

Alignment

In accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4), Commerce is aligning the final CVD determination in this investigation with the final determination in the companion AD investigation of passenger tires from Vietnam based on a request made by the petitioner.[9] Consequently, the final CVD determination will be issued on the same date as the final AD determination, which is currently scheduled to be issued no later than March 15, 2021, 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 Kumho Tire (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. and Sailun (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. 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 values for the merchandise under consideration.[10]

Preliminary Determination

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

CompanySubsidy rate (percent)
Kumho Tire (Vietnam) Co., Ltd10.08
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Sailun (Vietnam) Co., Ltd6.23
All Others6.77

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(B) and (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 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

Commerce is currently unable to conduct on-site verification of the information relied upon in making its final determination in this investigation. Accordingly, we intend to take additional steps in lieu of on-site verification. Commerce will notify interested parties of any additional documentation or information required.

Public Comment

Case briefs or other written comments on non-scope issues may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Interested parties will be notified of the timeline for the submission of such case briefs and written comments at a later date. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than seven days after the deadline date for case briefs.[11] Commerce has modified certain of its requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information until further notice.[12] 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 of 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 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.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its 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.

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: October 30, 2020.

Jeffrey I. Kessler,

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The scope of this investigation is passenger vehicle and light truck tires. Passenger vehicle and light truck tires are new pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a passenger vehicle or light truck size designation. Tires covered by this investigation may be tube-type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial, and they may be intended for sale to original equipment manufacturers or the replacement market.

Subject tires have, at the time of importation, the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Subject tires may also have the following prefixes or suffix in their tire size designation, which also appears on the sidewall of the tire:

Prefix designations:

P—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on passenger cars.

LT—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on light trucks.

Suffix letter designations:

LT—Identifies light truck tires for service on trucks, buses, trailers, and multipurpose passenger vehicles used in nominal highway service.

All tires with a “P” or “LT” prefix, and all tires with an “LT” suffix in their sidewall markings are covered by this investigation regardless of their intended use.

In addition, all tires that lack a “P” or “LT” prefix or suffix in their sidewall markings, as well as all tires that include any other prefix or suffix in their sidewall markings, are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that fits passenger cars or light trucks. Sizes that fit passenger cars and light trucks include, but are not limited to, the numerical size designations listed in the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, as updated annually. The scope includes all tires that are of a size that fits passenger cars or light trucks, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set out below.

Passenger vehicle and light truck tires, whether or not attached to wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported attached to a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope.

Specifically excluded from the scope are the following types of tires:

(1) Racing car tires; such tires do not bear the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall and may be marked with “ZR” in size designation;

(2) pneumatic tires, of rubber, that are not new, including recycled and retreaded tires;

(3) non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires;

(4) tires designed and marketed exclusively as temporary use spare tires for passenger vehicles which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical characteristics:

(a) The size designation and load index combination molded on the tire's sidewall are listed in Table PCT-1B (“T” Type Spare Tires for Temporary Use on Passenger Vehicles) or PCT-1B (“T” Type Diagonal (Bias) Spare Tires for Temporary Use on Passenger Vehicles) of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

(b) the designation “T” is molded into the tire's sidewall as part of the size designation, and,

(c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed is 81 MPH or a “M” rating;

(5) tires designed and marketed exclusively for specialty tire (ST) use which, in addition, exhibit each of the following conditions:

(a) The size designation molded on the tire's sidewall is listed in the ST sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

(b) the designation “ST” is molded into the tire's sidewall as part of the size designation,

(c) the tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the tire is “For Trailer Service Only” or “For Trailer Use Only”,

(d) the load index molded on the tire's sidewall meets or exceeds those load indexes listed in the Tire and Rim Association Year Book for the relevant ST tire size, andStart Printed Page 71610

(e) either

(i) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed does not exceed 81 MPH or an “M” rating; or

(ii) the tire's speed rating molded on the sidewall is 87 MPH or an “N” rating, and in either case the tire's maximum pressure and maximum load limit are molded on the sidewall and either

(1) both exceed the maximum pressure and maximum load limit for any tire of the same size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book; or

(2) if the maximum cold inflation pressure molded on the tire is less than any cold inflation pressure listed for that size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, the maximum load limit molded on the tire is higher than the maximum load limit listed at that cold inflation pressure for that size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book;

(6) tires designed and marketed exclusively for off-road use and which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical characteristics:

(a) The size designation and load index combination molded on the tire's sidewall are listed in the off-the-road, agricultural, industrial or ATV section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

(b) in addition to any size designation markings, the tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the tire is “Not For Highway Service” or “Not for Highway Use”,

(c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed does not exceed 55 MPH or a “G” rating, and

(d) the tire features a recognizable off-road tread design.

The products covered by this investigation are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.10.10.10, 4011.10.10.20, 4011.10.10.30, 4011.10.10.40, 4011.10.10.50, 4011.10.10.60, 4011.10.10.70, 4011.10.50.00, 4011.20.10.05, and 4011.20.50.10. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.90.10.10, 4011.90.10.50, 4011.90.20.10, 4011.90.20.50, 4011.90.80.10, 4011.90.80.50, 8708.70.45.30, 8708.70.45.46, 8708.70.45.48, 8708.70.45.60, 8708.70.60.30, 8708.70.60.45, and 8708.70.60.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

Appendix II

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Scope of the Investigation

IV. Scope Comments

V. Injury Test

VI. Application of the CVD Law to Imports From Vietnam

VII. Subsidies Valuation

VIII. Benchmarks and Interest Rates

IX. Analysis of Programs

X. Conclusion

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Footnotes

1.  See Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 85 FR 38850 (June 29, 2020) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation, 85 FR 48666 (August 12, 2020).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination: Countervailing Duty Investigation of Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” 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) (Preamble).

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5.  See Initiation Notice, 85 FR at 38851.

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6.  See Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 85 FR 65791 (October 16, 2020).

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7.  The deadline for interested parties to submit scope case and rebuttal briefs will be established in the preliminary scope decision memorandum.

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8.  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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9.  See Petitioner's Letter, “Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from Vietnam: Request for Alignment,” dated October 13, 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 U.S. sale quantities for the merchandise under consideration. 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 was available, Commerce based the all-others rate on the publicly ranged sales data of the mandatory respondents. For a complete analysis of the data, please see Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Calculation of All-Others Rate,” dated concurrently with this notice.

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11.  See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements); see also Temporary Rule Modifying AD/CVD Service Requirements Due to COVID-19, 85 FR 17006, 17007 (March 26, 2020).

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12.  See Temporary Rule Modifying AD/CVD Service Requirements Due to COVID-19; Extension of Effective Period, 85 FR 41363 (July 10, 2020).

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[FR Doc. 2020-24913 Filed 11-9-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P