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Notice

Certain Aluminum Foil From the Sultanate of Oman: 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 certain aluminum foil (aluminum foil) from the Sultanate of Oman (Oman) during the period of investigation, January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable March 5, 2021.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Conniff, 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) 482-1009.

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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 October 28, 2020.[1] On December 3, 2020, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation and the revised deadline is now February 26, 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 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 https://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 aluminum foil from Oman. 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] We received several comments concerning the scope of the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of aluminum foil as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. We are currently evaluating the scope comments filed by the interested parties. We intend to issue our 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 April 27, 2021.[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

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 CVD determination in this investigation with the final determination in the companion AD investigation of aluminum foil from Oman 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 determination, which is currently scheduled no later than July 12, 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 Start Printed Page 12914equal 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.

Commerce calculated an individual estimated countervailable subsidy rate for Oman Aluminum Rolling Company LLC (OARC), the only individually examined exporter/producer in this investigation. Because the only individually calculated rate is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, the estimated weighted-average rate calculated for OARC is the rate assigned to all other producers and exporters, pursuant to section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act.

Preliminary Determination

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

CompanySubsidy rate (percent)
Oman Aluminum Rolling Company LLC/Sohar Paper Cores LLC2.15
All Others2.15

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

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

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 established in the preliminary scope decision memorandum. 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 aluminum foil 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 aluminum foil 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 on non-scope matters may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Interested parties will be notified of the deadline 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.[10] Commerce has modified certain of its requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information until further notice.[11] 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.

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 Commerce's final determination is affirmative the ITC will make its final determination before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after the final determination whether imports of aluminum foil from Oman are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

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). Due to technical issues, James Maeder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations is signing this preliminary determination on behalf of Ryan Majerus, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Negotiations.

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Dated: February 26, 2021.

James Maeder,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.

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Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by this investigation is aluminum foil having a thickness of 0.2 mm or less, in reels exceeding 25 pounds, regardless of width. Aluminum foil is made from an aluminum alloy that contains more than 92 percent aluminum. Aluminum foil may be made to ASTM specification ASTM B479, but can also be made to other specifications. Regardless of specification, however, all aluminum foil meeting the scope description is included in the scope, including aluminum foil to which lubricant has been applied to one or both sides of the foil.

Excluded from the scope of this investigation is aluminum foil that is backed with paper, paperboard, plastics, or similar backing materials on one side or both sides of the aluminum foil, as well as etc hed capacitor foil and aluminum foil that is cut to shape. Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the Start Printed Page 12915scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above. The products under investigation are currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7607.11.3000, 7607.11.6090, 7607.11.9030, 7607.11.9060, 7607.11.9090, and 7607.19.6000.

Further, merchandise that falls within the scope of this proceeding may also be entered into the United States under HTSUS subheadings 7606.11.3060, 7606.11.6000, 7606.12.3045, 7606.12.3055, 7606.12.3091, 7606.12.3096, 7606.12.6000, 7606.91.3095, 7606.91.6095, 7606.92.3035, and 7606.92.6095. Although the HTSUS subheadings 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 Issues and Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Scope Comments

IV. Scope of Investigation

V. New Subsidy Allegation

VI. Subsidies Valuation

VII. Benchmarks

VIII. Partial Use of Facts Available

IX. Analysis of Programs

X. Recommendation

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Certain Aluminum Foil from the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 85 FR 68287 (October 28, 2020) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Certain Aluminum Foil from the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Countervailing Duty Investigations, 85 FR 78121 (December 3, 2020).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination of the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Aluminum Foil from the Sultanate of Oman,” 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.

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6.  See Certain Aluminum Foil from the Republic of Armenia, Brazil, the Sultanate of Oman, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 86 FR 9909 (February 17, 2021).

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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 Petitioners' Letter, “Countervailing Duty Investigations of Certain Aluminum Foil from the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Turkey—Petitioners' Request to Align Final Countervailing Duty Determinations with the Companion Antidumping Duty Final Determinations,” dated February 11, 2021. The petitioners are Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group and its individual members, Granges Americas Inc., JW Aluminum Company, and Novelis Corporation.

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10.  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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11.  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. 2021-04566 Filed 3-4-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P