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Notice

Methionine From Japan: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances and 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 methionine from Japan is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation is July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable March 4, 2021.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Scully, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0572.

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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 August 25, 2020.[1] On December 14, 2020, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation, and the revised deadline is now February 24, 2021.[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. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at h ttp://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Scope of the Investigation

The products covered by this investigation are methionine from Japan. 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 parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. Commerce is not preliminarily 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 constructed export prices in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Normal value 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 exist for Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd. (Sumitomo Chemical), and for all other producers and exporters in Japan. For a full description of the methodology and results of Commerce's critical circumstances analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

All-Others Rate

Section 733(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act provides that in the preliminary determination Commerce shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all exporters and producers not individually examined. Pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, 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 Sumitomo Chemical. Therefore, for purposes of determining the all-others rate, and pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the dumping margin calculated for Sumitomo Chemical, which is not zero, de minimis, or determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. 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/producerEstimated weighted- average dumping margin (percent)
Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd135.10
All Others135.10

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), where appropriate, 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 the respondent 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 Start Printed Page 12626producer 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 and exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin.

Section 733(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of: (a) The date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered; or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. As noted above, Commerce preliminarily finds that critical circumstances exist for imports of subject merchandise produced and exported by Sumitomo Chemical and all other exporters and producers from Japan. In accordance with section 733(e)(2)(A) of the Act, the suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of shipments of subject merchandise from Sumitomo Chemical and all other exporters and producers from Japan that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice.

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. Normally, Commerce verifies information using standard procedures, including an on-site examination of original accounting, financial, and sales documentation. However, due to current travel restrictions in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Commerce is unable to conduct on-site verification in this investigation. Accordingly, we intend to verify the information relied upon in making the final determination through alternative means in lieu of an on-site verification.

Public Comment

Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. A timeline for the submission of case briefs and written comments will be announced at a later date. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in these case briefs, may be submitted no later than seven days after the deadline date for case briefs.[6] Commerce has modified certain of its requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information until further notice.[7] 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 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 February 9, 2021, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e), Sumitomo Chemical requested that Commerce postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.[8] 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, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.

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, then 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 imports of methionine from Japan 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: February 24, 2021.

Christian Marsh,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by this investigation is methionine and dl-Hydroxy analogue of dl-methionine, also known as 2-Hydroxy 4-(Methylthio) Butanoic acid (HMTBa), regardless of purity, particle size, grade, or physical form. Methionine has the chemical formula C5 H11 NO2 S, liquid HMTBa has the chemical formula C5 H10 O3 S, and dry HMTBa has the chemical formula (C5 H9 O3 S)2 Ca.Start Printed Page 12627

Subject merchandise also includes methionine processed in a third country including, but not limited to, refining, converting from liquid to dry or dry to liquid form, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of this investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the in-scope methionine or dl-Hydroxy analogue of dl-methionine.

The scope also includes methionine that is commingled (i.e., mixed or combined) with methionine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

Excluded from this investigation is United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) grade methionine. In order to qualify for this exclusion, USP grade methionine must meet or exceed all of the chemical, purity, performance, and labeling requirements of the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary for USP grade methionine.

Methionine is currently classified under subheadings 2930.40.00.00 and 2930.90.46.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Methionine has the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry numbers 583-91-5, 4857-44-7, 59-51-8 and 922-50-9. While the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this 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. Preliminary Critical Circumstances Determination

VII. Discussion of the Methodology

VIII. Currency Conversion

IX. Recommendation

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Methionine from France, Japan and Spain: Initiation of Less-than-Fair-Value Investigations, 85 FR 52324 (August 25, 2020) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Methionine from France, Japan and Spain: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 85 FR 80774 (December 14, 2020).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Methionine from Japan,” 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 19 CFR 351.309; and 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

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7.  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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8.  See Sumitomo Chemical's Letter, “Methionine from Japan Request to Extend the Deadline for the Final Determination,” dated February 9, 2021.

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[FR Doc. 2021-04417 Filed 3-3-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P