Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On September 27, 2012, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) received an antidumping duty (“AD”) petition (“Petition”) concerning imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) filed in proper form on behalf of Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (“Petitioners”).
In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”), Petitioners allege that imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value, within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioners supporting their allegations.
The Department finds that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioners are an interested party as defined in sections 771(9)(C), (E), and (F) of the Act. The Department also finds that Petitioners have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the antidumping duty investigation that Petitioners are requesting that the Department initiate (
The period of investigation (“POI”) is January 1, 2012, through June 30, 2012.
The product covered by this investigation is hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of the Investigation, please
During our review of the Petition, we discussed the scope with Petitioners to ensure that it is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief. Moreover, as discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations
We are requesting comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of hardwood and decorative plywood to be reported in response to the Department's antidumping questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to more accurately report the relevant factors and costs of production, as well as to develop appropriate product comparison criteria.
Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate listing of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as (1) general product characteristics and (2) the product comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product comparison criteria. We base product comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, while there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe hardwood and decorative plywood, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in product matching. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.
In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the antidumping questionnaires, we must receive comments on product characteristics by November 16, 2012. Additionally, rebuttal comments must be received by November 23, 2012. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using IA ACCESS, as referenced above.
Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(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 732(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, the Department 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 the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The U.S. 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 the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,
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” (
With regard to the domestic like product, Petitioners do not offer a definition of domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigations. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that hardwood and decorative plywood constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.
In determining whether Petitioners have standing under section 732(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 Investigations” section above. To establish industry support, Petitioners provided their production of the domestic like product in 2011, and compared this to the estimated total production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.
On October 9, 2012, we received a submission on behalf of an importer of hardwood and decorative plywood, an interested party to this proceeding as
Based on information provided in the Petition, supplemental submissions, and other information readily available to the Department, we determine that Petitioners have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(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.
The Department finds that Petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C), (E), and (F) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the antidumping duty investigation that they are requesting the Department initiate.
Petitioners allege that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the merchandise under consideration sold at less than normal value (“NV”). In addition, Petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.
Petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and revenue; reduced capacity and capacity utilization; increased inventories; decline in financial performance; and employment data.
The following is a description of the allegations of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate this investigation of imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to the U.S. price and the factors of production (“FOPs”) are also discussed in the initiation checklist.
Petitioners calculated export price (“EP”) based on two invoices for hardwood and decorative plywood sold by Chinese exporters, as identified in affidavits regarding U.S. price.
Petitioners state that the Department has long treated the PRC as a non-market economy (“NME”) country and this designation remains in effect today.
Petitioners claim that Thailand is an appropriate surrogate country under 19 CFR 351.408(a) because it is an ME country that is at a comparable level of economic development to the PRC and surrogate values data from Thailand are available and reliable. Petitioners also believe that Thailand is a significant producer of comparable merchandise.
Petitioners calculated the NV and dumping margins for the U.S. price, as discussed above, using the Department's NME methodology as required by section 773(c) of the Act, 19 CFR 351.202(b)(7)(i)(C) and 19 CFR 351.408. Petitioners calculated NV based on the consumption rates of a producer of hardwood and decorative plywood which Petitioners assert is comparable to major hardwood and decorative plywood producers in the PRC.
Petitioners valued by-products and most FOPs, including packing FOPs, based on reasonably available, public surrogate country data, specifically, Thai import statistics from the Global Trade Atlas (“GTA”).
Petitioners valued labor costs using Thai wage rates for manufacturing industries, as reported by the International Labor Organization (“ILO”) in Table 6A of its
Petitioners used the 2010 Annual Report of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to calculate the value for electricity usage.
Based on the data provided by Petitioners, there is reason to believe that imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on a comparison of EPs and NV calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC range from 298.36 percent to 321.68 percent.
Based upon the examination of the Petition on hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC, the Department finds that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an antidumping investigation to determine whether imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.
Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.414(c)(1) (2012), in calculating the weighted-average dumping margins in this investigation, the Department will compare weighted-average export prices (EPs) (or constructed export prices (CEPs)) with weighted-average normal values (the average-to-average method) unless it is determined that another method is appropriate in a particular case. If any interested party wishes to request the Department consider whether it is appropriate in this investigation to apply an alternative comparison methodology pursuant to 19 CFR 351.414(c)(1) (2012), such requests are due no later than 45 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.
After considering the large number of producers and exporters of hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC identified by Petitioners, and considering the resources that must be utilized by the Department to mail quantity and value questionnaires to all 481 identified producers and exporters—including entering each address in a shipping handler's Web site, researching companies' addresses to ensure correctness, organizing mailings, and following up on potentially undeliverable mailings—the Department has thus determined that we do not have sufficient administrative resources to mail quantity and value questionnaires to all 481 identified producers and exporters.
The quantity and value data received from Chinese exporters/producers will be used as the basis for selecting the mandatory respondents. The Department requires that the respondents submit a response to both the quantity and value questionnaire and the separate-rate application by the respective deadlines, as discussed below and in the “Separate Rates” section, in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status.
In addition, the Department will post the quantity and value questionnaire along with the filing instructions on the Import Administration Web site (
Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at
In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate status application.
The Department will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:
In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the representatives of the Chinese Government. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition, the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by the delivery of the public version of the Petition to the PRC Government, consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).
We have notified the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.
The ITC will preliminarily determine, no later than November 13, 2012, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from the PRC 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.
Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). On January 22, 2008, the Department published
Any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.
This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act.