Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 7755-7760 [2016-03086]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 16, 2016 / Notices Comment 5: Whether the Department Used the Wrong Figure To Calculate the Duty Drawback Subsidy for Jindal [FR Doc. 2016–03082 Filed 2–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–570–036] Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products From the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-FairValue Investigation Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. DATES: Effective date: February 16, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julia Hancock at (202) 482–1394 and Susan Pulongbarit (202) 482–4031, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: The Petition mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES On January 13, 2016, the Department of Commerce (‘‘the Department’’) received an antidumping duty (‘‘AD’’) petition concerning imports of certain biaxial integral geogrid products (‘‘geogrids’’) from the People’s Republic of China (‘‘PRC’’), filed in proper form on behalf of Tensar Corporation (‘‘Petitioner’’).1 The AD petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (‘‘CVD’’) petition for the PRC.2 Petitioner is a domestic producer of geogrids.3 On January 15, 2016, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition,4 and Petitioner timely filed responses to these requests on January 20, 2016.5 On January 26, 2016, the 1 See the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties and Countervailing Duties: Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People’s Republic of China, dated January 13, 2016 (‘‘the Petition’’). 2 Id. 3 See Volume I of the Petition at 2. 4 See Letters from the Department to Petitioner entitled ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ January 15, 2016 (‘‘General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire’’); and ‘‘Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People’s Republic of China,’’ dated January 15, 2016 (‘‘AD Supplemental Questionnaire’’). 5 See Petitioner’s Response to the AD Supplemental Questionnaire, dated January 20, 2016 (‘‘AD Petition Supplement’’) and Petitioner’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:15 Feb 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 Department requested additional information and clarification on the calculation of AD margins,6 and Petitioner timely filed a response to this request on January 28, 2016.7 On January 27, 2016, the Department determined to toll all deadlines four business days as a result of the Federal Government closure during snowstorm Jonas, which is applicable to this initiation. As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the initiation of this investigation is now February 8, 2016.8 In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the ‘‘Act’’), Petitioner alleges that imports of geogrids 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 Petitioner supporting its allegations. The Department finds that Petitioner filed these Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also finds that Petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that Petitioner is requesting.9 Period of Investigation Because the AD Petition was filed on January 13, 2015, the period of investigation (‘‘POI’’) is, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), July 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. Response to the General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire, dated January 20, 2016 (‘‘General Issues Supplement’’). 6 See Letter from the Department to Petitioner entitled ‘‘Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ January 26, 2016 (‘‘Second AD Supplemental Questionnaire’’). 7 See Petitioner’s January 28, 2016 submission (‘‘Second AD Petition Supplement’’). 8 See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding ‘‘Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,’’’ dated January 27, 2016. 9 See the ‘‘Determination of Industry Support for the Petition’’ section below. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7755 Scope of the Investigation The products covered by this investigation are geogrids from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the ‘‘Scope of the Investigation,’’ in Appendix I of this notice. Comments on Scope of the Investigation During our review of the AD and CVD Petitions, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.10 As discussed in the preamble to the Department’s regulations,11 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., the scope). The Department will consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, the Department requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (‘‘ET’’) on February 29, 2016, 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 March 10, 2016, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments deadline. The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations. Filing Requirements All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System 10 See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire and General Issues Supplement. 11 See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997). E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 7756 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 16, 2016 / Notices (‘‘ACCESS’’).12 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance’s APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines. Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of geogrids to be reported in response to the Department’s AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise in order to report the relevant factors and costs of production as accurately as well as to develop appropriate productcomparison criteria. Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) productcomparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as productcomparison criteria. We base productcomparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe geogrids, 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 matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last. 12 See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of the Department’s electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/ Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20 Filling%20Procedures.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:15 Feb 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaires, all comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on February 29, 2016, which is twenty calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 4, 2016. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS. Determination of Industry Support for the Petition 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 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,13 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department’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 13 See PO 00000 section 771(10) of the Act. Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 render the decision of either agency contrary to law.14 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, Petitioner does 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 geogrids, as defined in the scope, constitute a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.15 In determining whether Petitioner has 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 the Investigation,’’ in Appendix I of this notice. To establish industry support, Petitioner provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2015.16 On February 1, 2016, we received a letter from the only other known U.S. producer of geogrids, Tenax Corporation (‘‘Tenax’’), stating that the company supports the Petition.17 Tenax also provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2015.18 Petitioner states that, based on reasonably available information regarding the U.S. geogrids industry, there are no other known producers of 14 See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff’d 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)). 15 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People’s Republic of China (‘‘PRC AD Initiation Checklist’’), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People’s Republic of China (‘‘Attachment II’’). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. 16 See General Issues Supplement, at 13. 17 See Letter from Tenax Corporation, dated January 28, 2016. We note that, although this letter is dated January 28, 2016, it was filed after 5:00 p.m. on January 29, 2016 (via ACCESS); therefore, we consider it received on the next business day (February 1, 2016). 18 See Letter from Tenax Corporation, dated February 1, 2016. E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 16, 2016 / Notices geogrids in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. industry.19 Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, letters from Tenax, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioner has established industry support.20 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, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).21 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) 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.22 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(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.23 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act. The Department finds that Petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is requesting the Department initiate.24 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation Petitioner alleges 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 subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (‘‘NV’’). In addition, Petitioner 19 See Volume I of the Petition, at 2–15 and Exhibits I–1 through I–4, I–6 through I–34, I–44, and I–52 through I–58; see also Letter from Tenax Corporation, dated February 1, 2016, at 1. 20 See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 21 See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 22 See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 23 Id. 24 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:15 Feb 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.25 Petitioner contends that the industry’s injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; negative impact on the domestic industry’s performance, including capacity utilization, shipments, and operating income; and lost sales and revenues.26 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.27 Allegation of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less-than-fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate the investigation of geogrids from the PRC. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the initiation checklist. Export Price Petitioner based U.S. prices on geogrids produced in and exported from the PRC by one producer, Feicheng Lianyi Engineering Plastics Co., Ltd. (‘‘Feicheng’’), and offered for sale to customers in the United States.28 Petitioner made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses consistent with the delivery terms. Normal Value Petitioner stated that the Department has found the PRC to be a non-market economy (‘‘NME’’) country in every administrative proceeding in which the PRC has been involved.29 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, the presumption of NME status remains in effect until revoked by the Department. The presumption of NME status for the PRC has not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, remains in 25 See Volume I of the Petition, at 34 and Exhibit I–4; see also General Issues Supplement, at 19. 26 See Volume I of the Petition, at 24–28, 32–45 and Exhibits I–4, I–35, I–39 through I–43, I–47, I– 50, and I–51; see also General Issues Supplement, at 13–24 and Exhibits Supp. I–1 through I–5, I–10 through I–12, and I–43. 27 See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People’s Republic of China. 28 See Volume II of the Petition at 7. 29 Id. at 2. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7757 effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, the NV of the product is appropriately based on factors of production (‘‘FOP’’) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. In the course of this investigation, all parties, and the public, will have the opportunity to provide relevant information related to the issues of the PRC’s NME status and the granting of separate rates to individual exporters. Petitioner claims that South Africa is an appropriate surrogate country because it is a market economy that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of the PRC and it is a significant producer of the merchandise under consideration.30 Based on the information provided by Petitioner, we believe it is appropriate to use South Africa as a surrogate country for initiation purposes. Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination. Factors of Production Petitioner based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on its own consumption rates for producing geogrids.31 Petitioner notes that Tensar, like Feicheng, is a large producer of geogrids using the same production process as Tensar.32 Petitioner valued the estimated factors of production using surrogate values from South Africa.33 Valuation of Raw Materials Petitioner valued the FOPs for raw materials (e.g., polypropylene, black masterbatch) using public import data for South Africa from the Global Trade Atlas (‘‘GTA’’) from June 2015 through November 2015, the most recent POIcontemporaneous data available at the time the Petition was filed.34 Petitioner excluded all import values from countries previously determined by the Department to maintain broadly available, non-industry-specific export subsidies and from countries previously determined by the Department to be NME countries. In addition, in 30 Id. at 4. Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II–18; see also AD Petition Supplement, at 4–5 and Exhibit Supp. II–18. 32 See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II–18. 33 Id. 34 See AD Petition Supplement at Exhibits Supp II–18 Attachments E–G. 31 See E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 7758 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 16, 2016 / Notices accordance with the Department’s practice, the average import value excludes imports that were labeled as originating from an unidentified country. The Department determines that the surrogate values used by Petitioner are reasonably available, and thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation. Valuation of Labor Petitioner valued labor using 2012 data for South Africa from the International Labor Organization for ‘‘Manufacturing.’’ 35 Specifically, Petitioner relied on data pertaining to wages earned by South African workers engaged in the manufacturing sector of the economy.36 Petitioner inflated the wage rate using data for the South African Consumer Price Index (‘‘CPI’’) published for the POI.37 Next, Petitioner converted the wage rates to hourly and converted South African Rands (‘‘ZAR’’) to U.S. Dollars (‘‘USD’’) using the average exchange rate for the POI.38 Valuation of Packing Materials Petitioner valued the packing materials used by PRC producers based on South African import data obtained from GTA.39 Valuation of Energy Petitioner valued electricity using data published by the South African electricity producer Eksom.40 The Eksom price information was reported in South African ZAR/kilowatt hour. Petitioner converted the price to USD using the average exchange rate during the POI.41 Petitioner valued natural gas using data from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for natural gas provider ROMPCO.42 Petitioner converted ZAR/Gigajoule (‘‘GJ’’) to USD/therm.43 Valuation of Factory Overhead, Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) Expenses, and Profit Petitioner relied on surrogate financial ratios (i.e., factory overhead, SG&A expenses, and profit) it calculated using the 2015 audited financial statement of Bowler Metcalf, a South African producer of comparable 35 See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II–18. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 36 Id. 37 Id. 38 Id.; see also AD Petition Supplement at 5 and Exhibit Supp. II–18 Attachment H(1). 39 See AD Petition Supplement at Exhibits Supp. II–18 Attachments M and N. 40 See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II–18. 41 Id. 42 Id. 43 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:15 Feb 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 merchandise (i.e., rigid plastic packaging for consumer products).44 Fair Value Comparisons Based on the data provided by Petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of geogrids from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the estimated dumping margin for geogrids from the PRC range from 289.23 to 372.81 percent.45 Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation Based upon the examination of the AD Petition on geogrids from the PRC, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of geogrids 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 determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation. On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD law.46 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.47 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this AD investigation.48 Respondent Selection Petitioner named 78 companies from the PRC as producers/exporters of 44 See AD Petition Supplement at Exhibit II–18 Attachment K(3) and K(5); see also Second AD Supplemental Questionnaire; Second AD Petition Supplement at 1 and Exhibit Second Supp. II–18; and PRC AD Initiation Checklist. 45 See PRC AD Initiation Checklist. 46 See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114–27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015). 47 See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (‘‘Applicability Notice’’). 48 Id. at 46794–95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114thcongress/house-bill/1295/text/pl. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 geogrids.49 Following standard practice for respondent selection in cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value (‘‘Q&V’’) questionnaires to each potential respondent, for which the Petitioner has provided a complete address, and base respondent selection on the responses received. In addition, the Department will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/ news.asp. Exporters/producers of geogrids from the PRC that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain a copy from the Enforcement and Compliance Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by all PRC exporters/producers no later than February 22, 2016, which is two weeks from the signature date of this notice. All Q&V responses must be filed electronically via ACCESS. Separate Rates In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.50 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on the Department’s Web site at http:// enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-seprate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after publication of this initiation notice.51 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status only if they respond to all parts of the Department’s AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. The Department requires that respondents submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by their respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status. 49 See Volume I of Petition at Exhibit I–37; see also AD Petition Supplement at 1 and Exhibit Supp. I–37. 50 See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation Involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 05.1). 51 Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, consistent with 19 CFR 351.301(a), which states that ‘‘the Secretary may request any person to submit factual information at any time during a proceeding,’’ this deadline is now 30 days. E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 16, 2016 / Notices Use of Combination Rates The Department will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states: {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of ‘‘combination rates’’ because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.52 Distribution of Copies of the Petition 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 government of the PRC via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we 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). ITC Notification We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 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 geogrids from the PRC are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.53 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 54 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 52 See 53 See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added). section 733(a) of the Act. 54 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 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 the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)–(iv). Any party, when submitting factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 55 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.56 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. Please 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, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. 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 expires. 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, we 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, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth 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. Please review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-201309-20/html/2013-22853.html, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation. Certification Requirements Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD 55 See 56 See 22:15 Feb 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 19 CFR 351.301(b). 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2). Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7759 proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.57 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule.58 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements. Notification to Interested Parties Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order (‘‘APO’’) in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department 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 in 19 CFR 351.103(d)). This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act. Dated: February 8, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation The merchandise covered by the investigation is certain biaxial integral geogrid products. Biaxial integral geogrid products are a polymer grid or mesh material (whether or not finished, slit, cut-to-length, attached to woven or non-woven fabric or sheet material, or packaged) in which foursided openings in the form of squares, rectangles, rhomboids, diamonds, or other four-sided figures predominate. The products covered have integral strands that have been stretched to induce molecular orientation into the material (as evidenced by the strands being thinner toward the middle between the junctions than at the junctions themselves) constituting the sides of the openings and integral junctions where the strands intersect. The scope includes products in which foursided figures predominate whether or not they also contain additional strands intersecting the four-sided figures and 57 See section 782(b) of the Act. Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_ info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf. 58 See E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 7760 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 16, 2016 / Notices whether or not the inside corners of the foursided figures are rounded off or not sharp angles. As used herein, the term ‘‘integral’’ refers to strands and junctions that are homogenous with each other. The products covered have a tensile strength of greater than 5 kilonewtons per meter (‘‘kN/m’’) according to American Society for Testing and Materials (‘‘ASTM’’) Standard Test Method D6637/D6637M in any direction and average overall flexural stiffness of more than 100,000 milligram-centimeter according to the ASTM D7748/D7748M Standard Test Method for Flexural Rigidity of Geogrids, Geotextiles and Related Products, or other equivalent test method standards. Subject merchandise includes material matching the above description that has been finished, packaged, or otherwise further processed in a third country, including by trimming, slitting, coating, cutting, punching holes, stretching, attaching to woven or nonwoven fabric or sheet material, or any other finishing, packaging, or other further processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigations if performed in the country of manufacture of the biaxial integral geogrid. The products subject to the scope are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (‘‘HTSUS’’) under the following subheading: 3926.90.9995. Subject merchandise may also enter under subheadings 3920.20.0050 and 3925.90.0000. The HTSUS subheadings set forth above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope is dispositive. [FR Doc. 2016–03086 Filed 2–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XD608 Endangered Species; File No. 19255 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of a permit, and termination of a permit. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) [Responsible Party: Michael Stangl], 3002 Bayside Dr., Dover, Delaware 19977, has been issued a permit to take shortnose (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) sturgeon in the Delaware River for purposes of scientific research. Additionally, Permit No. 16431, issued to the same Permit Holder for study of Atlantic sturgeon, is hereby terminated. ADDRESSES: The permit and related documents are available for review mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:15 Feb 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427–8401; fax (301) 713–0376. Dated: February 9, 2016. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–03026 Filed 2–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ´ Malcolm Mohead or Rosa L. Gonzalez, (301) 427–8401. On November 17, 2014, notice was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 68413) of a request for a permit to conduct research on shortnose sturgeon had been submitted by the above-named applicant. On June 26, 2015, notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 36770) that the application was amended to include a request to conduct research on Atlantic sturgeon. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222–226). Permit No. 19255 authorizes annual takes of endangered shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon to document nursery areas, individual movement patterns, seasonal movements, home ranges, and habitat usage(s) in the Delaware River. The authorized activities include capture of shortnose and Atlantic shortnose with gillnets. It also authorizes individuals to be weighed, measured, marked with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT), T-bar tagged, anesthetized, acoustic tagged, genetic tissue sampled, gastric lavaged, and photographed. It also authorized one unintentional mortality per species during the life of the permit. Specific activities and number of animals authorized per species are found on the permit. The shortnose sturgeon research activities are a continuation of the ones authorized under the DNREC expired Permit No. 14396 (75 FR 4043). The Atlantic sturgeon research activities were incorporated from the ones authorized under the DNREC Permit No. 16431 (76 FR 58469), which was set to expire April 5, 2017. Permit No. 16431 was terminated with issuance of Permit No. 19225, valid until February 5, 2021. Issuance of this permit, as required by the ESA, was based on a finding that such permit (1) was applied for in good faith, (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered or threatened species, and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE437 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of SEDAR 41 Review Workshop for South Atlantic red snapper and gray triggerfish. AGENCY: The SEDAR 41 assessments of the South Atlantic stocks of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) and gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) will consist of a series of workshops and webinars: Data Workshops; an Assessment Workshop and webinars; and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: The SEDAR 41 Review Workshop will be held on March 15–17, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. and March 18, 2016, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The established times may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussion relevant to the assessment process. Such adjustments may result in the meeting being extended from, or completed prior to the time established by this notice. ADDRESSES: Meeting address: The SEDAR 41 Assessment Workshop will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4831 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, SC 29418; phone: (843) 744–4422. SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405; www.sedarweb.org. SUMMARY: Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571– 4366; email: julia.byrd@safmc.net. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 16, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7755-7760]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-03086]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[A-570-036]


Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products From the People's 
Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation

AGENCY: Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, 
Department of Commerce.

DATES: Effective date: February 16, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julia Hancock at (202) 482-1394 and 
Susan Pulongbarit (202) 482-4031, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and 
Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Petition

    On January 13, 2016, the Department of Commerce (``the 
Department'') received an antidumping duty (``AD'') petition concerning 
imports of certain biaxial integral geogrid products (``geogrids'') 
from the People's Republic of China (``PRC''), filed in proper form on 
behalf of Tensar Corporation (``Petitioner'').\1\ The AD petition was 
accompanied by a countervailing duty (``CVD'') petition for the PRC.\2\ 
Petitioner is a domestic producer of geogrids.\3\
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    \1\ See the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties 
and Countervailing Duties: Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products 
from the People's Republic of China, dated January 13, 2016 (``the 
Petition'').
    \2\ Id.
    \3\ See Volume I of the Petition at 2.
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    On January 15, 2016, the Department requested additional 
information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition,\4\ and 
Petitioner timely filed responses to these requests on January 20, 
2016.\5\ On January 26, 2016, the Department requested additional 
information and clarification on the calculation of AD margins,\6\ and 
Petitioner timely filed a response to this request on January 28, 
2016.\7\ On January 27, 2016, the Department determined to toll all 
deadlines four business days as a result of the Federal Government 
closure during snowstorm Jonas, which is applicable to this initiation.
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    \4\ See Letters from the Department to Petitioner entitled 
``Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing 
Duties on Imports of Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from 
the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,'' January 
15, 2016 (``General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire''); and 
``Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Certain 
Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People's Republic of 
China,'' dated January 15, 2016 (``AD Supplemental Questionnaire'').
    \5\ See Petitioner's Response to the AD Supplemental 
Questionnaire, dated January 20, 2016 (``AD Petition Supplement'') 
and Petitioner's Response to the General Issues Supplemental 
Questionnaire, dated January 20, 2016 (``General Issues 
Supplement'').
    \6\ See Letter from the Department to Petitioner entitled 
``Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of 
Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People's Republic 
of China: Supplemental Questions,'' January 26, 2016 (``Second AD 
Supplemental Questionnaire'').
    \7\ See Petitioner's January 28, 2016 submission (``Second AD 
Petition Supplement'').
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    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary 
for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department has exercised its 
discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent 
closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the 
proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised 
deadline for the initiation of this investigation is now February 8, 
2016.\8\
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    \8\ See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S 
for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding ``Tolling of Administrative 
Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm 
Jonas,''' dated January 27, 2016.
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    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as 
amended (the ``Act''), Petitioner alleges that imports of geogrids 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 Petitioner supporting its 
allegations.
    The Department finds that Petitioner filed these Petitions on 
behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioner is an interested 
party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also 
finds that Petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with 
respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that Petitioner is 
requesting.\9\
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    \9\ See the ``Determination of Industry Support for the 
Petition'' section below.
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Period of Investigation

    Because the AD Petition was filed on January 13, 2015, the period 
of investigation (``POI'') is, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), July 
1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are geogrids from the 
PRC. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the 
``Scope of the Investigation,'' in Appendix I of this notice.

Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the AD and CVD Petitions, the Department 
issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioner pertaining 
to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition 
would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic 
industry is seeking relief.\10\
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    \10\ See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire and General 
Issues Supplement.
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    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,\11\ 
we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues 
regarding product coverage (i.e., the scope). The Department will 
consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will 
consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary 
determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 
CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to 
public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its 
questionnaires, the Department requests all interested parties to 
submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (``ET'') on February 29, 
2016, 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 March 10, 2016, which is 10 calendar days 
after the initial comments deadline.
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    \11\ See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 
27323 (May 19, 1997).
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    The Department requests that any factual information the parties 
consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted 
during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that 
additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the 
investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department 
and request permission to submit the additional information. All such 
comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and 
CVD investigations.

Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically 
using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty 
Centralized Electronic Service System

[[Page 7756]]

(``ACCESS'').\12\ An electronically filed document must be received 
successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. 
Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be 
filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's 
APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street 
and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the 
date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.
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    \12\ See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: 
Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order 
Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and 
Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 
(November 20, 2014) for details of the Department's electronic 
filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. 
Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.
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Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding 
the appropriate physical characteristics of geogrids to be reported in 
response to the Department's AD questionnaires. This information will 
be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject 
merchandise in order to report the relevant factors and costs of 
production as accurately 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 list of 
physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to 
which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product 
characteristics and (2) 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, although there 
may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers 
to describe geogrids, 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 matching 
products. 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 AD questionnaires, all comments must be 
filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on February 29, 2016, which is twenty calendar 
days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments must 
be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 4, 2016. All comments and submissions 
to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS.

Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    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 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,\13\ they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a 
separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department'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.\14\
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    \13\ See section 771(10) of the Act.
    \14\ See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 
2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. 
Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).
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    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, Petitioner does 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 geogrids, as defined in the 
scope, constitute a single domestic like product and we have analyzed 
industry support in terms of that domestic like product.\15\
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    \15\ For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in 
this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: 
Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People's Republic 
of China (``PRC AD Initiation Checklist''), at Attachment II, 
Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing 
Duty Petitions Covering Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products 
from the People's Republic of China (``Attachment II''). This 
checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file 
electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is 
also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main 
Department of Commerce building.
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    In determining whether Petitioner has 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 the Investigation,'' in Appendix I of this 
notice. To establish industry support, Petitioner provided its own 
production of the domestic like product in 2015.\16\ On February 1, 
2016, we received a letter from the only other known U.S. producer of 
geogrids, Tenax Corporation (``Tenax''), stating that the company 
supports the Petition.\17\ Tenax also provided its own production of 
the domestic like product in 2015.\18\ Petitioner states that, based on 
reasonably available information regarding the U.S. geogrids industry, 
there are no other known producers of

[[Page 7757]]

geogrids in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 
100 percent of the U.S. industry.\19\
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    \16\ See General Issues Supplement, at 13.
    \17\ See Letter from Tenax Corporation, dated January 28, 2016. 
We note that, although this letter is dated January 28, 2016, it was 
filed after 5:00 p.m. on January 29, 2016 (via ACCESS); therefore, 
we consider it received on the next business day (February 1, 2016).
    \18\ See Letter from Tenax Corporation, dated February 1, 2016.
    \19\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 2-15 and Exhibits I-1 
through I-4, I-6 through I-34, I-44, and I-52 through I-58; see also 
Letter from Tenax Corporation, dated February 1, 2016, at 1.
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    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues 
Supplement, letters from Tenax, and other information readily available 
to the Department indicates that Petitioner has established industry 
support.\20\ 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, the Department is 
not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry 
support (e.g., polling).\21\ Second, the domestic producers (or 
workers) 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.\22\ Finally, the 
domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for 
industry support under section 732(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.\23\ Accordingly, the Department determines 
that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within 
the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.
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    \20\ See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \21\ See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC AD 
Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \22\ See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \23\ Id.
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    The Department finds that Petitioner filed the Petition on behalf 
of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined 
in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient 
industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is 
requesting the Department initiate.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    Petitioner alleges 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 subject merchandise 
sold at less than normal value (``NV''). In addition, Petitioner 
alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold 
provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.\25\
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    \25\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 34 and Exhibit I-4; see 
also General Issues Supplement, at 19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is 
illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression 
or depression; negative impact on the domestic industry's performance, 
including capacity utilization, shipments, and operating income; and 
lost sales and revenues.\26\ We have assessed the allegations and 
supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material 
injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations 
are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory 
requirements for initiation.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 24-28, 32-45 and Exhibits 
I-4, I-35, I-39 through I-43, I-47, I-50, and I-51; see also General 
Issues Supplement, at 13-24 and Exhibits Supp. I-1 through I-5, I-10 
through I-12, and I-43.
    \27\ See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, 
Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and 
Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions 
Covering Certain Biaxial Integral Geogrid Products from the People's 
Republic of China.
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Allegation of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less-
than-fair value upon which the Department based its decision to 
initiate the investigation of geogrids from the PRC. The sources of 
data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV 
are discussed in greater detail in the initiation checklist.

Export Price

    Petitioner based U.S. prices on geogrids produced in and exported 
from the PRC by one producer, Feicheng Lianyi Engineering Plastics Co., 
Ltd. (``Feicheng''), and offered for sale to customers in the United 
States.\28\ Petitioner made deductions from U.S. price for movement 
expenses consistent with the delivery terms.
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    \28\ See Volume II of the Petition at 7.
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Normal Value

    Petitioner stated that the Department has found the PRC to be a 
non-market economy (``NME'') country in every administrative proceeding 
in which the PRC has been involved.\29\ In accordance with section 
771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, the presumption of NME status remains in 
effect until revoked by the Department. The presumption of NME status 
for the PRC has not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, 
remains in effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. 
Accordingly, the NV of the product is appropriately based on factors of 
production (``FOP'') valued in a surrogate market economy country, in 
accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. In the course of this 
investigation, all parties, and the public, will have the opportunity 
to provide relevant information related to the issues of the PRC's NME 
status and the granting of separate rates to individual exporters.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Id. at 2.
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    Petitioner claims that South Africa is an appropriate surrogate 
country because it is a market economy that is at a level of economic 
development comparable to that of the PRC and it is a significant 
producer of the merchandise under consideration.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ Id. at 4.
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    Based on the information provided by Petitioner, we believe it is 
appropriate to use South Africa as a surrogate country for initiation 
purposes. Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit 
comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 
351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly 
available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled 
date of the preliminary determination.

Factors of Production

    Petitioner based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on its 
own consumption rates for producing geogrids.\31\ Petitioner notes that 
Tensar, like Feicheng, is a large producer of geogrids using the same 
production process as Tensar.\32\ Petitioner valued the estimated 
factors of production using surrogate values from South Africa.\33\
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    \31\ See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II-18; see also AD 
Petition Supplement, at 4-5 and Exhibit Supp. II-18.
    \32\ See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II-18.
    \33\ Id.
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Valuation of Raw Materials

    Petitioner valued the FOPs for raw materials (e.g., polypropylene, 
black masterbatch) using public import data for South Africa from the 
Global Trade Atlas (``GTA'') from June 2015 through November 2015, the 
most recent POI-contemporaneous data available at the time the Petition 
was filed.\34\ Petitioner excluded all import values from countries 
previously determined by the Department to maintain broadly available, 
non-industry-specific export subsidies and from countries previously 
determined by the Department to be NME countries. In addition, in

[[Page 7758]]

accordance with the Department's practice, the average import value 
excludes imports that were labeled as originating from an unidentified 
country. The Department determines that the surrogate values used by 
Petitioner are reasonably available, and thus, are acceptable for 
purposes of initiation.
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    \34\ See AD Petition Supplement at Exhibits Supp II-18 
Attachments E-G.
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Valuation of Labor

    Petitioner valued labor using 2012 data for South Africa from the 
International Labor Organization for ``Manufacturing.'' \35\ 
Specifically, Petitioner relied on data pertaining to wages earned by 
South African workers engaged in the manufacturing sector of the 
economy.\36\ Petitioner inflated the wage rate using data for the South 
African Consumer Price Index (``CPI'') published for the POI.\37\ Next, 
Petitioner converted the wage rates to hourly and converted South 
African Rands (``ZAR'') to U.S. Dollars (``USD'') using the average 
exchange rate for the POI.\38\
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    \35\ See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II-18.
    \36\ Id.
    \37\ Id.
    \38\ Id.; see also AD Petition Supplement at 5 and Exhibit Supp. 
II-18 Attachment H(1).
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Valuation of Packing Materials

    Petitioner valued the packing materials used by PRC producers based 
on South African import data obtained from GTA.\39\
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    \39\ See AD Petition Supplement at Exhibits Supp. II-18 
Attachments M and N.
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Valuation of Energy

    Petitioner valued electricity using data published by the South 
African electricity producer Eksom.\40\ The Eksom price information was 
reported in South African ZAR/kilowatt hour. Petitioner converted the 
price to USD using the average exchange rate during the POI.\41\ 
Petitioner valued natural gas using data from the National Energy 
Regulator of South Africa for natural gas provider ROMPCO.\42\ 
Petitioner converted ZAR/Gigajoule (``GJ'') to USD/therm.\43\
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    \40\ See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II-18.
    \41\ Id.
    \42\ Id.
    \43\ Id.
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Valuation of Factory Overhead, Selling, General and Administrative 
(SG&A) Expenses, and Profit

    Petitioner relied on surrogate financial ratios (i.e., factory 
overhead, SG&A expenses, and profit) it calculated using the 2015 
audited financial statement of Bowler Metcalf, a South African producer 
of comparable merchandise (i.e., rigid plastic packaging for consumer 
products).\44\
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    \44\ See AD Petition Supplement at Exhibit II-18 Attachment K(3) 
and K(5); see also Second AD Supplemental Questionnaire; Second AD 
Petition Supplement at 1 and Exhibit Second Supp. II-18; and PRC AD 
Initiation Checklist.
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Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by Petitioner, there is reason to 
believe that imports of geogrids from the PRC are being, or are likely 
to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. Based on 
comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, 
the estimated dumping margin for geogrids from the PRC range from 
289.23 to 372.81 percent.\45\
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    \45\ See PRC AD Initiation Checklist.
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Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation
    Based upon the examination of the AD Petition on geogrids from the 
PRC, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of 
the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine 
whether imports of geogrids 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 determination no later than 140 
days after the date of this initiation.
    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into 
law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which made numerous 
amendments to the AD and CVD law.\46\ The 2015 law does not specify 
dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the 
Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the 
applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for 
amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to 
determinations of material injury by the ITC.\47\ The amendments to 
sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all 
determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply 
to this AD investigation.\48\
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    \46\ See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 
114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).
    \47\ See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping 
and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension 
Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (``Applicability 
Notice'').
    \48\ Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at 
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.
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Respondent Selection

    Petitioner named 78 companies from the PRC as producers/exporters 
of geogrids.\49\ Following standard practice for respondent selection 
in cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value 
(``Q&V'') questionnaires to each potential respondent, for which the 
Petitioner has provided a complete address, and base respondent 
selection on the responses received. In addition, the Department will 
post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the 
Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.
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    \49\ See Volume I of Petition at Exhibit I-37; see also AD 
Petition Supplement at 1 and Exhibit Supp. I-37.
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    Exporters/producers of geogrids from the PRC that do not receive 
Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V 
questionnaire and can obtain a copy from the Enforcement and Compliance 
Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by all PRC exporters/
producers no later than February 22, 2016, which is two weeks from the 
signature date of this notice. All Q&V responses must be filed 
electronically via ACCESS.

Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, 
exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.\50\ 
The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application 
are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on 
the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after 
publication of this initiation notice.\51\ Exporters and producers who 
submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory 
respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status 
only if they respond to all parts of the Department's AD questionnaire 
as mandatory respondents. The Department requires that respondents 
submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate 
application by their respective deadlines in order to receive 
consideration for separate-rate status.
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    \50\ See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and 
Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation 
Involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at 
http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 
05.1).
    \51\ Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, 
consistent with 19 CFR 351.301(a), which states that ``the Secretary 
may request any person to submit factual information at any time 
during a proceeding,'' this deadline is now 30 days.

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[[Page 7759]]

Use of Combination Rates

    The Department will calculate combination rates for certain 
respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME 
investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin 
states:

{w{time} hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates 
only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now 
assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers 
that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, 
however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the 
producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period 
of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory 
respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as 
well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-
average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is 
referred to as the application of ``combination rates'' because such 
rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more 
producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply 
only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and 
produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of 
investigation.\52\
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    \52\ See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).
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Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    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 government of the PRC via ACCESS. To the extent 
practicable, we 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).

ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 
732(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 geogrids from the PRC are materially 
injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.\53\ A 
negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being 
terminated; \54\ otherwise, this investigation will proceed according 
to statutory and regulatory time limits.
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    \53\ See section 733(a) of the Act.
    \54\ Id.
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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 the Department; and (v) evidence other than 
factual information described in (i)-(iv). Any party, when submitting 
factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 
351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted \55\ 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.\56\ 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. Please review the regulations prior to 
submitting factual information in this investigation.
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    \55\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b).
    \56\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).
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Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the 
expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351, or as 
otherwise specified by the Secretary. 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 expires. 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, we 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, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting 
forth 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. Please 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.html, prior to submitting factual 
information in this investigation.

Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding 
must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.\57\ 
Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are 
in effect for company/government officials, as well as their 
representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions 
filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD 
proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the 
formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final 
Rule.\58\ The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the 
submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification 
requirements.
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    \57\ See section 782(b) of the Act.
    \58\ See Certification of Factual Information to Import 
Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty 
Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also 
frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at 
http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.
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Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under 
administrative protective order (``APO'') in accordance with 19 CFR 
351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department 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 in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).
    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of 
the Act.

    Dated: February 8, 2016.
Paul Piquado,
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

Appendix I--Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by the investigation is certain biaxial 
integral geogrid products. Biaxial integral geogrid products are a 
polymer grid or mesh material (whether or not finished, slit, cut-
to-length, attached to woven or non-woven fabric or sheet material, 
or packaged) in which four-sided openings in the form of squares, 
rectangles, rhomboids, diamonds, or other four-sided figures 
predominate. The products covered have integral strands that have 
been stretched to induce molecular orientation into the material (as 
evidenced by the strands being thinner toward the middle between the 
junctions than at the junctions themselves) constituting the sides 
of the openings and integral junctions where the strands intersect. 
The scope includes products in which four-sided figures predominate 
whether or not they also contain additional strands intersecting the 
four-sided figures and

[[Page 7760]]

whether or not the inside corners of the four-sided figures are 
rounded off or not sharp angles. As used herein, the term 
``integral'' refers to strands and junctions that are homogenous 
with each other. The products covered have a tensile strength of 
greater than 5 kilonewtons per meter (``kN/m'') according to 
American Society for Testing and Materials (``ASTM'') Standard Test 
Method D6637/D6637M in any direction and average overall flexural 
stiffness of more than 100,000 milligram-centimeter according to the 
ASTM D7748/D7748M Standard Test Method for Flexural Rigidity of 
Geogrids, Geotextiles and Related Products, or other equivalent test 
method standards.
    Subject merchandise includes material matching the above 
description that has been finished, packaged, or otherwise further 
processed in a third country, including by trimming, slitting, 
coating, cutting, punching holes, stretching, attaching to woven or 
non-woven fabric or sheet material, or any other finishing, 
packaging, or other further processing that would not otherwise 
remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigations if 
performed in the country of manufacture of the biaxial integral 
geogrid.
    The products subject to the scope are currently classified in 
the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (``HTSUS'') 
under the following subheading: 3926.90.9995. Subject merchandise 
may also enter under subheadings 3920.20.0050 and 3925.90.0000. The 
HTSUS subheadings set forth above are provided for convenience and 
U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope is 
dispositive.

[FR Doc. 2016-03086 Filed 2-12-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P