Certain Hardwood Plywood Products From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 91125-91131 [2016-30305]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES notice of initiation. Parties wishing to participate in any of these administrative reviews should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of separate letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). Revised Factual Information Requirements On April 10, 2013, the Department published Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013), which modified two regulations related to antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301). The final rule identifies five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (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). The final rule requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 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. The final rule also modified 19 CFR 351.301 so that, rather than providing general time limits, there are specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after May 10, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http:// enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/ 1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment. Any party submitting factual information in an antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.4 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/ government officials as well as their representatives. All segments of any 4 See section 782(b) of the Act. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Dec 15, 2016 Jkt 241001 antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule.5 The Department intends to reject factual submissions in any proceeding segments if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements. Revised Extension of Time Limits Regulation On September 20, 2013, the Department modified its regulation concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013). The modification clarifies that parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under Part 351 expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, clarification and correction filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning U.S. Customs and Border Protection data; and (5) quantity and value questionnaires. Under certain circumstances, the Department 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, the Department 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. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which 5 See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (‘‘Final Rule’’); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_ info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 91125 the Department will grant untimelyfiled requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http:// www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/ html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. These initiations and this notice are in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(a)) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i). Dated: December 7, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. [FR Doc. 2016–30310 Filed 12–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–570–051] Certain Hardwood Plywood Products From the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. DATES: Effective December 8, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kabir Archuletta at (202) 482–2593 or Amanda Brings at (202) 482–3927, AD/ CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: The Petition On November 18, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of certain hardwood plywood products (hardwood plywood) from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), filed in proper form on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood and its individual members (Petitioners).1 On November 22, 2016, the Department requested additional 1 See the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties Pursuant to Sections 701 and 731 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as Amended, dated November 18, 2016 (the Petition), at Volumes I and II. The members of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood are: Columbia Forest Products; Commonwealth Plywood Co., Ltd.; Murphy Plywood; Roseburg Forest Products Co.; States Industries LLC; and Timber Products Company. E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 91126 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.2 Petitioners filed responses to these requests on November 29, 2016.3 On December 5, 2016, Far East America, Inc. (FEA), a U.S. importer of hardwood plywood, provided comments on domestic industry support for the Petitions and requested that the Department poll the domestic industry to determine industry support.4 We also received comments on industry support and a request to poll the domestic industry from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Heritage Home Group, Inc.; and Standard Furniture Manufacturing Company, U.S. producers of wooden and upholstered furniture and wooden furniture parts, on December 5, 2016.5 On December 6, 2016, Petitioners provided a response to FEA’s comments on industry support and provided further clarification regarding the scope.6 On December 7, 2016, Petitioners provided a response to the Furniture Producers’ Letter.7 On December 7, 2016, the Government of 2 See Letters from the Department to Petitioners entitled, ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ dated November 22, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire) and ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ dated November 22, 2016 (AD Supplemental Questionnaire). 3 See Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, ‘‘Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Response to the Department’s November 22, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume I of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,’’ dated November 29, 2016 (General Issues Supplement); see also Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, ‘‘Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Response to the Department’s November 22, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume II of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties,’’ dated November 29, 2016 (AD Supplemental Response). 4 See Letter from FEA to the Department entitled, ‘‘Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Request for Polling,’’ dated December 5, 2016 (FEA Letter). 5 See Letter from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Heritage Home Group, Inc.; and Standard Furniture Manufacturing Company, Inc. to the Department entitled, ‘‘Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Challenge to Petition’s Industry Support,’’ dated December 5, 2016 (Furniture Producers’ Letter). 6 See Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, ‘‘Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China,’’ dated December 6, 2016, (Petitioners’ Revised Scope and Response to FEA Letter). 7 See Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, ‘‘Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Petitioners’ Response to Domestic Furniture Producers’ December 5, 2016 Letter,’’ dated December 7, 2016 (Petitioners’ Response to Furniture Producers’ Letter). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Dec 15, 2016 Jkt 241001 the PRC (GOC) provided comments on industry support and requested the Department poll the industry to determine industry support.8 In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), Petitioners allege that imports of hardwood 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 imports of hardwood plywood from the PRC are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry producing hardwood plywood 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 Petitioners filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioners are an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) and (F) of the Act. The Department also finds that Petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that Petitioners are requesting.9 Period of Investigation Because the Petition was filed on November 18, 2016, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. Scope of the Investigation The product covered by this investigation is hardwood plywood 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 Petition, we issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioners 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 8 See Memo to the File, dated December 7, 2016, which contains the GOC’s industry support comments (GOC Comments). 9 See the ‘‘Determination of Industry Support for the Petition’’ section below. 10 See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement at 1–5; see also Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, ‘‘Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China,’’ dated December 6, 2016, at Exhibit I. 11 See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997). PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (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 Wednesday, December 28, 2016. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, January 9, 2017. The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must also be filed on the record of the concurrent CVD investigation. Filing Requirements All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement & Compliance’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (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 & Compliance’s APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines. 12 See 19 CFR 351.303 (describing general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) and 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. E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2016 / Notices Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of hardwood plywood 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 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) 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 hardwood 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 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 questionnaire, all comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 22, 2016. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, December 28, 2016. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the record of this less-than-fair-value investigation. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Dec 15, 2016 Jkt 241001 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 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, Petitioners do 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 13 See section 771(10) of the Act. 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)). 14 See PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 91127 record, we have determined that hardwood plywood, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.15 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 the Investigation,’’ in Appendix I of this notice. Petitioners provided their own production data of the domestic like product in 2015. Petitioners also provided estimated 2015 production of the domestic like product by the entire U.S. domestic industry.16 To establish industry support, Petitioners compared their production to the total 2015 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.17 We relied on data Petitioners provided for purposes of measuring industry support.18 On December 5, 2016, we received comments on industry support from FEA, a U.S. importer of the subject merchandise, and Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Heritage Home Group, Inc.; and Standard Furniture Manufacturing Company, Inc., domestic producers of wooden and upholstered furniture and wooden furniture parts.19 Petitioners responded to these comments on December 6 and 7, 2016.20 The GOC also provided comments on industry support on December 7, 2016.21 For further discussion of these comments, see the PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, letters from FEA, the Furniture 15 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Hardwood Plywood 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 Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China,’’ (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, 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 Volume I of the Petition, at Exhibit I–3; see also Petitioners’ Response to Furniture Producers’ Letter, at 6–8 and Exhibits 1–3. 17 See Volume I of the Petition, at 3 and Exhibits I–3 and I–8; see also General Issues Supplement, at 6–8 and Exhibit I–Supp–3. 18 Id. For further discussion, see PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 19 See FEA Letter and Furniture Producers’ Letter. 20 See Petitioners’ Revised Scope and Response to FEA Letter and Petitioners’ Response to Furniture Producers’ Letter. 21 See GOC Comments. E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 91128 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2016 / Notices Producers, the GOC, and Petitioners, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioners have established industry support.22 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).23 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.24 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.25 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 Petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C) and (F) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that they are requesting that the Department initiate.26 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation 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 subject merchandise 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.27 Petitioners contend that the industry’s injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and 22 See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 23 See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 24 See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 25 Id. 26 Id. 27 See General Issues Supplement, at 8–9 and Exhibit I–Supp–5. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Dec 15, 2016 Jkt 241001 price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; and negative impact on the domestic industry’s key indicators, including financial performance, production, shipments, and capacity utilization.28 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.29 Allegations 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 an investigation of imports of hardwood plywood 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 Petitioners based U.S. price on two offers for sale for hardwood plywood produced in the PRC from a Chinese exporter.30 Petitioners made deductions from U.S. price for foreign inland freight and foreign brokerage and handling charges consistent with the delivery terms.31 Normal Value Petitioners 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.32 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 (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in 28 See Volume I of the Petitions, at 14–40 and Exhibits I–6 through I–17; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1, 8–11 and Exhibits I–Supp–2, I– Supp–5, and I–Supp–6. 29 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 Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China (Attachment III). 30 See Volume II of the Petition, at 3 and Exhibit II–2; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 1 and Exhibit II–Supp–1. 31 See Volume II of the Petition, at 5–8 and Exhibit II–4, Exhibit II–5, Exhibit II–7; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 4 and Exhibit II–Supp– 4, Exhibit II–Supp–7, Exhibit II–Supp–10. 32 See Volume II of the Petition, at 8–9. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. Petitioners claim that Thailand 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 comparable merchandise.33 Based on the information provided by Petitioners, we determine that it is appropriate to use Thailand 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 Petitioners based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on the consumption rates of a producer of hardwood plywood in the United States.34 Petitioners assert that the production process for hardwood plywood is similar regardless of whether the product is produced in the United States or in the PRC.35 Petitioners valued the estimated factors of production using surrogate values from Thailand.36 Valuation of Raw Materials Petitioners valued the FOPs for raw materials using public import data for Thailand obtained from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) for the POI.37 Petitioners 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.38 In addition, in accordance with the Department’s practice, the average import value excludes imports that were labeled as originating from an unidentified country.39 The Department determines 33 Id. at 9–10 and Exhibit II–8, Exhibit II–9. at 1, 10–11 and Exhibit II–10, Exhibit II–11, Exhibit II–14; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 2. 35 See Volume II of the Petition, at 14. 36 Id. at 15. 37 Id. at 17 and Exhibit II–15, Exhibit II–16; see also AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit II– Supp–6. 38 See Volume II of the Petition, at 17. 39 Id. 34 Id. E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2016 / Notices that the surrogate values used by Petitioners are reasonably available and, thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation. Valuation of Energy Petitioners valued electricity using electricity rates reported by the Thai Board of Investment.40 This information was reported in U.S. dollars (USD) per kilowatt hour and multiplied by the U.S. producer’s usage rates.41 Petitioners valued water using water rates reported by the Thai Board of Investment.42 Petitioners converted the water rates reported from USD/cubic meter to USD/gallon and multiplied by the U.S. producer’s usage rates.43 Valuation of Labor Petitioners valued labor using the most-recently-available labor data published by Thailand’s National Statistics Office.44 Specifically, Petitioners relied on data pertaining to wages and benefits earned by Thai workers engaged in the ‘‘manufacturing’’ sector of the Thai economy.45 Petitioners converted Thai Baht to USD using the average exchange rate during the POI.46 Valuation of Packing Materials Petitioners valued the packing materials using import data obtained from GTA for the POI.47 Valuation of Factory Overhead, Selling, General and Administrative Expenses, and Profit Petitioners calculated ratios for factory overhead, selling, general and administrative expenses and profit based on the most recent audited financial statements for Vanachai Group Public Company Limited, a Thai manufacturer of comparable merchandise (i.e., particle board, MDF products, laminated particleboard, and finished door frames, and panels).48 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Fair Value Comparisons Based on the data provided by Petitioners, there is reason to believe 40 Id. at 18 and Exhibit II–18; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 2. 41 Id. 42 See Volume II of the Petition, at 18 and Exhibit II–19. 43 Id.; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 3 and Exhibit II–Supp–3. 44 See Volume II of the Petition at 18 and Exhibit II–20. 45 Id. 46 See Volume II of the Petition at 15–16 and Exhibit II–13. 47 Id. at 19–20 and Exhibit II–14; see also AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit II–Supp–5. 48 See Volume II of the Petition, at 19–20 and Exhibit II–21 and Exhibit II–22; see also AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit II–Supp–9. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Dec 15, 2016 Jkt 241001 that imports of hardwood plywood from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-thanfair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for hardwood from the PRC range from 104.06 to 114.72 percent.49 Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation Based upon the examination of the AD Petition on hardwood plywood 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 hardwood 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 intend to 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.50 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.51 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.52 Respondent Selection In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires to producers/ exporters of merchandise subject to the investigation and base respondent selection on the responses received. For this investigation, the Department will request Q&V information from known exporters and producers identified, with 49 See AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit II– Supp–11; see also PRC AD Initiation Checklist. 50 See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114–27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015). 51 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). 52 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 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 91129 complete contact information, in the Petition. 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. Producers/exporters of hardwood plywood 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 & Compliance Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by the relevant PRC exporters/producers no later than December 22, 2016. 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.53 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in the PRC investigation 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.54 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 companies from the PRC submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separaterate application by the respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status. Companies not filing a timely Q&V response will not receive separate rate consideration. 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: 53 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). 54 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\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 91130 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2016 / Notices {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.55 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. 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 delivery of the public version to the government of the PRC, consistent with 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 DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Preliminary Determinations 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 hardwood plywood from the PRC are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.56 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 57 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 allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the 55 See 56 See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added). section 733(a) of the Act. 57 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Dec 15, 2016 Jkt 241001 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 58 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.59 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. 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.htm, 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.60 58 See 19 CFR 351.301(b). 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2). 60 See section 782(b) of the Act. 59 See PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 petition 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.61 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: December 8, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation The merchandise subject to this investigation is hardwood and decorative plywood, and certain veneered panels as described below. For purposes of this proceeding, hardwood and decorative plywood is defined as a generally flat, multilayered plywood or other veneered panel, consisting of two or more layers or plies of wood veneers and a core, with the face and/or back veneer made of nonconiferous wood (hardwood) or bamboo. The veneers, along with the core may be glued or otherwise bonded together. Hardwood and decorative plywood may include products that meet the American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood, ANSI/ HPVA HP–1–2016 (including any revisions to that standard). For purposes of this investigation a ‘‘veneer’’ is a slice of wood regardless of thickness which is cut, sliced or sawed from a log, bolt, or flitch. The face and back veneers are the outermost veneer of wood on 61 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. E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2016 / Notices either side of the core irrespective of additional surface coatings or covers as described below. The core of hardwood and decorative plywood consists of the layer or layers of one or more material(s) that are situated between the face and back veneers. The core may be composed of a range of materials, including but not limited to hardwood, softwood, particleboard, or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). All hardwood plywood is included within the scope of this investigation regardless of whether or not the face and/or back veneers are surface coated or covered and whether or not such surface coating(s) or covers obscures the grain, textures, or markings of the wood. Examples of surface coatings and covers include, but are not limited to: Ultra-violet light cured polyurethanes; oil or oil-modified or water based polyurethanes; wax; epoxyester finishes; moisture-cured urethanes; paints; stains; paper; aluminum; high pressure laminate; MDF; medium density overlay (‘‘MDO’’); and phenolic film. Additionally, the face veneer of hardwood plywood may be sanded; smoothed or given a ‘‘distressed’’ appearance through such methods as hand-scraping or wire brushing. All hardwood plywood is included within the scope even if it is trimmed; cut-to-size; notched; punched; drilled; or has underwent other forms of minor processing. All hardwood and decorative plywood is included within the scope of this investigation, without regard to dimension (overall thickness, thickness of face veneer, thickness of back veneer, thickness of core, thickness of inner veneers, width, or length). However, the most common panel sizes of hardwood and decorative plywood are 1219 x 1829 mm (48 x 72 inches), 1219 x 2438 mm (48 x 96 inches), and 1219 x 3048 mm (48 x 120 inches). Subject merchandise also includes hardwood and decorative plywood that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to trimming, cutting, notching, punching, drilling, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the in-scope product. The scope of the investigation excludes the following items: (1) Structural plywood (also known as ‘‘industrial plywood’’ or ‘‘industrial panels’’) that is manufactured to meet U.S. Products Standard PS 1–09, PS 2– 09, or PS 2–10 for Structural Plywood (including any revisions to that standard or any substantially equivalent international standard intended for structural plywood), and which has both a face and a back veneer of coniferous wood; (2) products which have a face and back veneer of cork; (3) multilayered wood flooring, as described in the antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders on Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People’s Republic of China, Import Administration, International Trade Administration. See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People’s Republic of China, 76 FR 76690 (December 8, 2011) (amended final determination of sales at less than fair value and antidumping duty order), and Multilayered Wood Flooring from the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Dec 15, 2016 Jkt 241001 People’s Republic of China, 76 FR 76693 (December 8, 2011) (countervailing duty order), as amended by Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People’s Republic of China: Amended Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 77 FR 5484 (February 3, 2012); (4) multilayered wood flooring with a face veneer of bamboo or composed entirely of bamboo; (5) plywood which has a shape or design other than a flat panel, with the exception of any minor processing described above; and (6) products made entirely from bamboo and adhesives (also known as ‘‘solid bamboo’’). Imports of hardwood plywood are primarily entered under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4412.10.0500; 4412.31.0520; 4412.31.0540; 4412.31.0560; 4412.31.2510; 4412.31.2520; 4412.31.4040; 4412.31.4050; 4412.31.4060; 4412.31.4075; 4412.31.4080; 4412.31.5125; 4412.31.5135; 4412.31.5155; 4412.31.5165; 4412.31.5175; 4412.31.6000; 4412.31.9100; 4412.32.0520; 4412.32.0540; 4412.32.0565; 4412.32.0570; 4412.32.2510; 4412.32.2525; 4412.32.2530; 4412.32.3125; 4412.32.3135; 4412.32.3155; 4412.32.3165; 4412.32.3175; 4412.32.3185; 4412.32.5600; 4412.94.1030; 4412.94.1050; 4412.94.3105; 4412.94.3111; 4412.94.3121; 4412.94.3131; 4412.94.3141; 4412.94.3160; 4412.94.3161; 4412.94.3171; 4412.94.3175; 4412.94.4100; 4412.99.0600; 4412.99.1020; 4412.99.1030; 4412.99.1040; 4412.99.3110; 4412.99.3120; 4412.99.3130; 4412.99.3140; 4412.99.3150; 4412.99.3160; 4412.99.3170; 4412.99.4100; 4412.99.5115; and 4412.99.5710. Imports of hardwood plywood may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 4412.39.1000; 4412.39.3000; 4412.39.4011; 4412.39.4012; 4412.39.4019; 4412.39.4031; 4412.39.4032; 4412.39.4039; 4412.39.4051; 4412.39.4052; 4412.39.4059; 4412.39.4061; 4412.39.4062; 4412.39.4069; 4412.39.5010; 4412.39.5030; 4412.39.5050; 4412.99.6000; 4412.99.7000; 4412.99.8000; 4412.99.9000; 4412.10.9000; 4412.94.5100; 4412.94.9500; and 4412.99.9500. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive. [FR Doc. 2016–30305 Filed 12–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C–570–052] Certain Hardwood Plywood Products From the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. DATES: Effective December 8, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Justin Neuman at (202) 482–0486, or Matthew Renkey at (202) 482–2312, AD/ AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 91131 CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition On November 18, 2016, the Department of Commerce (Department) received a countervailing duty (CVD) petition concerning imports of certain hardwood plywood products (hardwood plywood) from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), filed in proper form on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood and its individual members (Petitioners).1 On November 22, 2016, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.2 Petitioners filed responses to these requests on November 29, 2016.3 On December 5, 2016, Far East America, Inc. (FEA), a U.S. importer of hardwood plywood, provided comments on domestic industry support for the Petitions and requested that the Department poll the domestic industry to determine industry support.4 We also received comments on industry support and a request to poll the domestic industry from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Heritage 1 See the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties Pursuant to Sections 701 and 731 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as Amended, dated November 18, 2016 (Petition), at Volumes I and III. The members of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood are: Columbia Forest Products; Commonwealth Plywood Co., Ltd.; Murphy Plywood; Roseburg Forest Products Co.; States Industries LLC; and Timber Products Company. 2 See Letters from the Department to Petitioners entitled, ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ dated November 22, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire) and ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ dated November 23, 2016 (CVD Supplemental Questionnaire). 3 See Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, ‘‘Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Response to the Department’s November 22, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume I of the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,’’ dated November 29, 2016 (General Issues Supplement); see also Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, ‘‘Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Response to the Department’s November 23, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume III of the Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties,’’ dated November 29, 2016 (CVD Supplemental Response). 4 See Letter from FEA to the Department entitled, ‘‘Hardwood Plywood Products from the People’s Republic of China: Request for Polling,’’ dated December 5, 2016 (FEA Letter). E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 242 (Friday, December 16, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 91125-91131]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-30305]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[A-570-051]


Certain Hardwood Plywood 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 December 8, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kabir Archuletta at (202) 482-2593 or 
Amanda Brings at (202) 482-3927, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, 
Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20230.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

The Petition

    On November 18, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) 
received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of 
certain hardwood plywood products (hardwood plywood) from the People's 
Republic of China (PRC), filed in proper form on behalf of the 
Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood and its individual members 
(Petitioners).\1\
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    \1\ See the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duties Pursuant to Sections 701 and 731 of the Tariff 
Act of 1930, as Amended, dated November 18, 2016 (the Petition), at 
Volumes I and II. The members of the Coalition for Fair Trade in 
Hardwood Plywood are: Columbia Forest Products; Commonwealth Plywood 
Co., Ltd.; Murphy Plywood; Roseburg Forest Products Co.; States 
Industries LLC; and Timber Products Company.
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    On November 22, 2016, the Department requested additional

[[Page 91126]]

information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.\2\ 
Petitioners filed responses to these requests on November 29, 2016.\3\ 
On December 5, 2016, Far East America, Inc. (FEA), a U.S. importer of 
hardwood plywood, provided comments on domestic industry support for 
the Petitions and requested that the Department poll the domestic 
industry to determine industry support.\4\ We also received comments on 
industry support and a request to poll the domestic industry from 
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Heritage Home Group, Inc.; and 
Standard Furniture Manufacturing Company, U.S. producers of wooden and 
upholstered furniture and wooden furniture parts, on December 5, 
2016.\5\ On December 6, 2016, Petitioners provided a response to FEA's 
comments on industry support and provided further clarification 
regarding the scope.\6\ On December 7, 2016, Petitioners provided a 
response to the Furniture Producers' Letter.\7\ On December 7, 2016, 
the Government of the PRC (GOC) provided comments on industry support 
and requested the Department poll the industry to determine industry 
support.\8\
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    \2\ See Letters from the Department to Petitioners entitled, 
``Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing 
Duties on Imports of Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the 
People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,'' dated November 
22, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire) and ``Petitions 
for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on 
Imports of Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's 
Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,'' dated November 22, 2016 
(AD Supplemental Questionnaire).
    \3\ See Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, 
``Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's Republic of 
China: Response to the Department's November 22, 2016 Supplemental 
Questions Regarding Volume I of the Petition for the Imposition of 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,'' dated November 29, 2016 
(General Issues Supplement); see also Letter from Petitioners to the 
Department entitled, ``Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the 
People's Republic of China: Response to the Department's November 
22, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding Volume II of the Petition 
for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties,'' dated November 29, 2016 
(AD Supplemental Response).
    \4\ See Letter from FEA to the Department entitled, ``Hardwood 
Plywood Products from the People's Republic of China: Request for 
Polling,'' dated December 5, 2016 (FEA Letter).
    \5\ See Letter from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Heritage 
Home Group, Inc.; and Standard Furniture Manufacturing Company, Inc. 
to the Department entitled, ``Hardwood Plywood Products from the 
People's Republic of China: Challenge to Petition's Industry 
Support,'' dated December 5, 2016 (Furniture Producers' Letter).
    \6\ See Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, 
``Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's Republic of 
China,'' dated December 6, 2016, (Petitioners' Revised Scope and 
Response to FEA Letter).
    \7\ See Letter from Petitioners to the Department entitled, 
``Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's Republic of 
China: Petitioners' Response to Domestic Furniture Producers' 
December 5, 2016 Letter,'' dated December 7, 2016 (Petitioners' 
Response to Furniture Producers' Letter).
    \8\ See Memo to the File, dated December 7, 2016, which contains 
the GOC's industry support comments (GOC Comments).
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    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as 
amended (the Act), Petitioners allege that imports of hardwood 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 imports of hardwood plywood from the PRC are materially 
injuring, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry 
producing hardwood plywood 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 Petitioners filed this Petition on behalf 
of the domestic industry because Petitioners are an interested party as 
defined in section 771(9)(C) and (F) of the Act. The Department also 
finds that Petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with 
respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that Petitioners are 
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 Petition was filed on November 18, 2016, pursuant to 19 
CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2016 
through September 30, 2016.

Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is hardwood plywood 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 Petition, we issued questions to, and 
received responses from, Petitioners 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; see also 
General Issues Supplement at 1-5; see also Letter from Petitioners 
to the Department entitled, ``Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from 
the People's Republic of China,'' dated December 6, 2016, at Exhibit 
I.
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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 (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 Wednesday, December 28, 2016. Any 
rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed 
by 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, January 9, 2017.
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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 investigation be submitted during 
this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that 
additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the 
investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and 
request permission to submit the additional information. All such 
comments must also be filed on the record of the concurrent CVD 
investigation.

Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically 
using Enforcement & Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty 
Centralized Electronic Service System (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 & Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, 1401 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 19 CFR 351.303 (describing general filing 
requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty 
Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective 
Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) and 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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[[Page 91127]]

Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding 
the appropriate physical characteristics of hardwood plywood 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 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 hardwood 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 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 questionnaire, all comments must be filed 
by 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 22, 2016. Any rebuttal comments, 
which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on 
Monday, December 28, 2016. All comments and submissions to the 
Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained 
above, on the record of this less-than-fair-value investigation.

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)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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, Petitioners do 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 hardwood plywood, as defined in 
the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have 
analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in 
this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: 
Certain Hardwood Plywood 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 Hardwood Plywood Products from the 
People's Republic of China,'' (Attachment II). This checklist is 
dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 the Investigation,'' in Appendix I of this 
notice. Petitioners provided their own production data of the domestic 
like product in 2015. Petitioners also provided estimated 2015 
production of the domestic like product by the entire U.S. domestic 
industry.\16\ To establish industry support, Petitioners compared their 
production to the total 2015 production of the domestic like product 
for the entire domestic industry.\17\ We relied on data Petitioners 
provided for purposes of measuring industry support.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ See Volume I of the Petition, at Exhibit I-3; see also 
Petitioners' Response to Furniture Producers' Letter, at 6-8 and 
Exhibits 1-3.
    \17\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 3 and Exhibits I-3 and I-
8; see also General Issues Supplement, at 6-8 and Exhibit I-Supp-3.
    \18\ Id. For further discussion, see PRC AD Initiation 
Checklist, at Attachment II.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On December 5, 2016, we received comments on industry support from 
FEA, a U.S. importer of the subject merchandise, and Ashley Furniture 
Industries, Inc.; Heritage Home Group, Inc.; and Standard Furniture 
Manufacturing Company, Inc., domestic producers of wooden and 
upholstered furniture and wooden furniture parts.\19\ Petitioners 
responded to these comments on December 6 and 7, 2016.\20\ The GOC also 
provided comments on industry support on December 7, 2016.\21\ For 
further discussion of these comments, see the PRC AD Initiation 
Checklist, at Attachment II.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ See FEA Letter and Furniture Producers' Letter.
    \20\ See Petitioners' Revised Scope and Response to FEA Letter 
and Petitioners' Response to Furniture Producers' Letter.
    \21\ See GOC Comments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues 
Supplement, letters from FEA, the Furniture

[[Page 91128]]

Producers, the GOC, and Petitioners, and other information readily 
available to the Department indicates that Petitioners have established 
industry support.\22\ 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).\23\ 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.\24\ 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.\25\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \23\ See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC AD 
Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \24\ See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \25\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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) and (F) of the Act and they have demonstrated 
sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that 
they are requesting that the Department initiate.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    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 subject merchandise 
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.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ See General Issues Supplement, at 8-9 and Exhibit I-Supp-5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is 
illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression 
or depression; lost sales and revenues; and negative impact on the 
domestic industry's key indicators, including financial performance, 
production, shipments, and capacity utilization.\28\ 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.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ See Volume I of the Petitions, at 14-40 and Exhibits I-6 
through I-17; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1, 8-11 and 
Exhibits I-Supp-2, I-Supp-5, and I-Supp-6.
    \29\ 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 Hardwood Plywood Products from the People's 
Republic of China (Attachment III).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allegations 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 an investigation of imports of hardwood plywood 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

    Petitioners based U.S. price on two offers for sale for hardwood 
plywood produced in the PRC from a Chinese exporter.\30\ Petitioners 
made deductions from U.S. price for foreign inland freight and foreign 
brokerage and handling charges consistent with the delivery terms.\31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 3 and Exhibit II-2; see 
also AD Supplemental Response, at 1 and Exhibit II-Supp-1.
    \31\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 5-8 and Exhibit II-4, 
Exhibit II-5, Exhibit II-7; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 4 
and Exhibit II-Supp-4, Exhibit II-Supp-7, Exhibit II-Supp-10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Normal Value

    Petitioners 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.\32\ 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 (FOPs) 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 8-9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Petitioners claim that Thailand 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 comparable merchandise.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Id. at 9-10 and Exhibit II-8, Exhibit II-9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the information provided by Petitioners, we determine that 
it is appropriate to use Thailand 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

    Petitioners based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on the 
consumption rates of a producer of hardwood plywood in the United 
States.\34\ Petitioners assert that the production process for hardwood 
plywood is similar regardless of whether the product is produced in the 
United States or in the PRC.\35\ Petitioners valued the estimated 
factors of production using surrogate values from Thailand.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ Id. at 1, 10-11 and Exhibit II-10, Exhibit II-11, Exhibit 
II-14; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 2.
    \35\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 14.
    \36\ Id. at 15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Valuation of Raw Materials

    Petitioners valued the FOPs for raw materials using public import 
data for Thailand obtained from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) for the 
POI.\37\ Petitioners 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.\38\ In addition, in 
accordance with the Department's practice, the average import value 
excludes imports that were labeled as originating from an unidentified 
country.\39\ The Department determines

[[Page 91129]]

that the surrogate values used by Petitioners are reasonably available 
and, thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ Id. at 17 and Exhibit II-15, Exhibit II-16; see also AD 
Supplemental Response, at Exhibit II-Supp-6.
    \38\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 17.
    \39\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Valuation of Energy

    Petitioners valued electricity using electricity rates reported by 
the Thai Board of Investment.\40\ This information was reported in U.S. 
dollars (USD) per kilowatt hour and multiplied by the U.S. producer's 
usage rates.\41\ Petitioners valued water using water rates reported by 
the Thai Board of Investment.\42\ Petitioners converted the water rates 
reported from USD/cubic meter to USD/gallon and multiplied by the U.S. 
producer's usage rates.\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ Id. at 18 and Exhibit II-18; see also AD Supplemental 
Response, at 2.
    \41\ Id.
    \42\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 18 and Exhibit II-19.
    \43\ Id.; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 3 and Exhibit 
II-Supp-3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Valuation of Labor

    Petitioners valued labor using the most-recently-available labor 
data published by Thailand's National Statistics Office.\44\ 
Specifically, Petitioners relied on data pertaining to wages and 
benefits earned by Thai workers engaged in the ``manufacturing'' sector 
of the Thai economy.\45\ Petitioners converted Thai Baht to USD using 
the average exchange rate during the POI.\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ See Volume II of the Petition at 18 and Exhibit II-20.
    \45\ Id.
    \46\ See Volume II of the Petition at 15-16 and Exhibit II-13.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Valuation of Packing Materials

    Petitioners valued the packing materials using import data obtained 
from GTA for the POI.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ Id. at 19-20 and Exhibit II-14; see also AD Supplemental 
Response, at Exhibit II-Supp-5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Valuation of Factory Overhead, Selling, General and Administrative 
Expenses, and Profit

    Petitioners calculated ratios for factory overhead, selling, 
general and administrative expenses and profit based on the most recent 
audited financial statements for Vanachai Group Public Company Limited, 
a Thai manufacturer of comparable merchandise (i.e., particle board, 
MDF products, laminated particleboard, and finished door frames, and 
panels).\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 19-20 and Exhibit II-21 
and Exhibit II-22; see also AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit II-
Supp-9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by Petitioners, there is reason to 
believe that imports of hardwood plywood 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 margins for hardwood from the PRC range from 
104.06 to 114.72 percent.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ See AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit II-Supp-11; see 
also PRC AD Initiation Checklist.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petition on hardwood plywood 
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 hardwood 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 intend to 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.\50\ 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.\51\ 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.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 
114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).
    \51\ 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).
    \52\ Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at 
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Respondent Selection

    In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection 
in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and 
value (Q&V) questionnaires to producers/exporters of merchandise 
subject to the investigation and base respondent selection on the 
responses received. For this investigation, the Department will request 
Q&V information from known exporters and producers identified, with 
complete contact information, in the Petition. 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.
    Producers/exporters of hardwood plywood 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 & 
Compliance Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by the relevant 
PRC exporters/producers no later than December 22, 2016. 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.\53\ 
The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in 
the PRC investigation 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.\54\ 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 companies from the PRC submit 
a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate 
application by the respective deadlines in order to receive 
consideration for separate-rate status. Companies not filing a timely 
Q&V response will not receive separate rate consideration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ 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).
    \54\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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:


[[Page 91130]]


{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.\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

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. 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 delivery 
of the public version to the government of the PRC, consistent with 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 Determinations 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 hardwood plywood from the PRC are materially 
injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.\56\ A 
negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being 
terminated; \57\ otherwise, this investigation will proceed according 
to statutory and regulatory time limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ See section 733(a) of the Act.
    \57\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 \58\ 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.\59\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b).
    \59\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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. 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.htm, 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.\60\ 
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 petition 
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.\61\ The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the 
submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification 
requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ See section 782(b) of the Act.
    \61\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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: December 8, 2016.
Christian Marsh,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty 
Operations.

Appendix I--Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise subject to this investigation is hardwood and 
decorative plywood, and certain veneered panels as described below. 
For purposes of this proceeding, hardwood and decorative plywood is 
defined as a generally flat, multilayered plywood or other veneered 
panel, consisting of two or more layers or plies of wood veneers and 
a core, with the face and/or back veneer made of non-coniferous wood 
(hardwood) or bamboo. The veneers, along with the core may be glued 
or otherwise bonded together. Hardwood and decorative plywood may 
include products that meet the American National Standard for 
Hardwood and Decorative Plywood, ANSI/HPVA HP-1-2016 (including any 
revisions to that standard).
    For purposes of this investigation a ``veneer'' is a slice of 
wood regardless of thickness which is cut, sliced or sawed from a 
log, bolt, or flitch. The face and back veneers are the outermost 
veneer of wood on

[[Page 91131]]

either side of the core irrespective of additional surface coatings 
or covers as described below.
    The core of hardwood and decorative plywood consists of the 
layer or layers of one or more material(s) that are situated between 
the face and back veneers. The core may be composed of a range of 
materials, including but not limited to hardwood, softwood, 
particleboard, or medium-density fiberboard (MDF).
    All hardwood plywood is included within the scope of this 
investigation regardless of whether or not the face and/or back 
veneers are surface coated or covered and whether or not such 
surface coating(s) or covers obscures the grain, textures, or 
markings of the wood. Examples of surface coatings and covers 
include, but are not limited to: Ultra-violet light cured 
polyurethanes; oil or oil-modified or water based polyurethanes; 
wax; epoxy-ester finishes; moisture-cured urethanes; paints; stains; 
paper; aluminum; high pressure laminate; MDF; medium density overlay 
(``MDO''); and phenolic film. Additionally, the face veneer of 
hardwood plywood may be sanded; smoothed or given a ``distressed'' 
appearance through such methods as hand-scraping or wire brushing. 
All hardwood plywood is included within the scope even if it is 
trimmed; cut-to-size; notched; punched; drilled; or has underwent 
other forms of minor processing.
    All hardwood and decorative plywood is included within the scope 
of this investigation, without regard to dimension (overall 
thickness, thickness of face veneer, thickness of back veneer, 
thickness of core, thickness of inner veneers, width, or length). 
However, the most common panel sizes of hardwood and decorative 
plywood are 1219 x 1829 mm (48 x 72 inches), 1219 x 2438 mm (48 x 96 
inches), and 1219 x 3048 mm (48 x 120 inches).
    Subject merchandise also includes hardwood and decorative 
plywood that has been further processed in a third country, 
including but not limited to trimming, cutting, notching, punching, 
drilling, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove 
the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in 
the country of manufacture of the in-scope product.
    The scope of the investigation excludes the following items: (1) 
Structural plywood (also known as ``industrial plywood'' or 
``industrial panels'') that is manufactured to meet U.S. Products 
Standard PS 1-09, PS 2-09, or PS 2-10 for Structural Plywood 
(including any revisions to that standard or any substantially 
equivalent international standard intended for structural plywood), 
and which has both a face and a back veneer of coniferous wood; (2) 
products which have a face and back veneer of cork; (3) multilayered 
wood flooring, as described in the antidumping duty and 
countervailing duty orders on Multilayered Wood Flooring from the 
People's Republic of China, Import Administration, International 
Trade Administration. See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the 
People's Republic of China, 76 FR 76690 (December 8, 2011) (amended 
final determination of sales at less than fair value and antidumping 
duty order), and Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's 
Republic of China, 76 FR 76693 (December 8, 2011) (countervailing 
duty order), as amended by Multilayered Wood Flooring from the 
People's Republic of China: Amended Antidumping and Countervailing 
Duty Orders, 77 FR 5484 (February 3, 2012); (4) multilayered wood 
flooring with a face veneer of bamboo or composed entirely of 
bamboo; (5) plywood which has a shape or design other than a flat 
panel, with the exception of any minor processing described above; 
and (6) products made entirely from bamboo and adhesives (also known 
as ``solid bamboo'').
    Imports of hardwood plywood are primarily entered under the 
following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) 
subheadings: 4412.10.0500; 4412.31.0520; 4412.31.0540; 4412.31.0560; 
4412.31.2510; 4412.31.2520; 4412.31.4040; 4412.31.4050; 
4412.31.4060; 4412.31.4075; 4412.31.4080; 4412.31.5125; 
4412.31.5135; 4412.31.5155; 4412.31.5165; 4412.31.5175; 
4412.31.6000; 4412.31.9100; 4412.32.0520; 4412.32.0540; 
4412.32.0565; 4412.32.0570; 4412.32.2510; 4412.32.2525; 
4412.32.2530; 4412.32.3125; 4412.32.3135; 4412.32.3155; 
4412.32.3165; 4412.32.3175; 4412.32.3185; 4412.32.5600; 
4412.94.1030; 4412.94.1050; 4412.94.3105; 4412.94.3111; 
4412.94.3121; 4412.94.3131; 4412.94.3141; 4412.94.3160; 
4412.94.3161; 4412.94.3171; 4412.94.3175; 4412.94.4100; 
4412.99.0600; 4412.99.1020; 4412.99.1030; 4412.99.1040; 
4412.99.3110; 4412.99.3120; 4412.99.3130; 4412.99.3140; 
4412.99.3150; 4412.99.3160; 4412.99.3170; 4412.99.4100; 
4412.99.5115; and 4412.99.5710.
    Imports of hardwood plywood may also enter under HTSUS 
subheadings 4412.39.1000; 4412.39.3000; 4412.39.4011; 4412.39.4012; 
4412.39.4019; 4412.39.4031; 4412.39.4032; 4412.39.4039; 
4412.39.4051; 4412.39.4052; 4412.39.4059; 4412.39.4061; 
4412.39.4062; 4412.39.4069; 4412.39.5010; 4412.39.5030; 
4412.39.5050; 4412.99.6000; 4412.99.7000; 4412.99.8000; 
4412.99.9000; 4412.10.9000; 4412.94.5100; 4412.94.9500; and 
4412.99.9500. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for 
convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the 
scope of this investigation is dispositive.

[FR Doc. 2016-30305 Filed 12-15-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P