Ceramic Tile From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 20101-20105 [2019-09452]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 89 / Wednesday, May 8, 2019 / Notices (4) if neither the exporter nor the producer is a firm covered in this review or in any previously completed segment of this proceeding, then the cash deposit rate will be 4.05 percent, the all-others rate established in the less than fair value investigation.7 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice. Disclosure We will disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with these final results within five days of the publication of this notice, consistent with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of Comment Comment: JBF’s Cost of Production V. Recommendation [FR Doc. 2019–09454 Filed 5–7–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Notification to Importers International Trade Administration This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce’s presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties. [C–570–109] Administrative Protective Order This notice is the only reminder to parties subject to the administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under the APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction. Ceramic Tile From the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. DATES: Applicable April 30, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yasmin Bordas at (202) 482–3813; Moses Song at (202) 482–7885; John McGowan at (202) 492–3019, respectively; AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: The Petition We are issuing and publishing these final results and this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h). On April 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) received a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition concerning imports of ceramic tile from the People’s Republic of China (China), filed in proper form on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ceramic Tile (the petitioner).1 The CVD Petition was accompanied by an antidumping duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of ceramic tile from China. Between April 15 and 24, 2019, Commerce requested supplemental information pertaining to certain aspects of the Petition.2 The petitioner filed 7 See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from Brazil, the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates: Antidumping Duty Orders and Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value for the United Arab Emirates, 73 FR 66595, 66596 (November 10, 2008). 1 See Petitioner’s Letter, ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China,’’ dated April 10, 2019 (the Petition); see also Memorandum, ‘‘Decision Memorandum Concerning the Filing Date of the Petitions,’’ dated April 16, 2019. 2 See Commerce’s Letters, ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Notification to Interested Parties khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Dated: May 1, 2019. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 May 07, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20101 responses to these requests between April 17 and April 25, 2019.3 In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that the Government of China is providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to producers of ceramic tile in China, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing ceramic tile in the United States. Consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(b), for those alleged programs on which we are initiating a CVD investigation, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations. Commerce finds that the petitioner filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry, because the petitioner is an interested party, as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ dated April 15, 2019 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); ‘‘Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ dated April 15, 2019 (CVD Supplemental Questionnaire); see also Memoranda, ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner,’’ dated April 16, 2019 (April 16, 2019 Memorandum); ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner,’’ dated April 19, 2019 (April 19, 2019 Memorandum); and ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner,’’ dated April 24, 2019 (April 24, 2019 Memorandum). 3 See the Petitioner’s Letters, ‘‘Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: FTCTs Response to the Department’s Supplemental Questions on the Petition,’’ dated April 17, 2019 (General Issues Supplement); ‘‘Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ceramic Tile from the People’s republic of China: FTCT’s Response to the Department’s Supplemental Questions on the Petition,’’ dated April 17, 2019 (CVD Supplement Response); ‘‘Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: FTCT’s Response to the Department’s Second Supplemental Questions on General Issues of Petition pertaining to DOC Case Nos. A–570–108 & C–570–109,’’ dated April 22, 2019 (Second General Issues Supplement); and ‘‘Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: FTCT’s Response to the Department’s Third Supplemental Questions on General Issues of Petition pertaining to DOC Case Nos. A–570–108 & C–570–109,’’ dated April 25, 2019 (Third General Issues Supplement). E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 20102 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 89 / Wednesday, May 8, 2019 / Notices support with respect to the initiation of the requested CVD investigation.4 Period of Investigation Because the Petition was filed on April 10, 2019, the period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.5 Scope of the Investigation The merchandise covered by this investigation consists of ceramic tile from China. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to this notice. Comments on Scope of the Investigation khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES During our review of the Petition, we contacted the petitioner regarding the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.6 As a result, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition. The description of the merchandise covered by this investigation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects these clarifications. As discussed in the Preamble to Commerce’s regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).7 Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,8 all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, Commerce requests that all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on May 20, 2019, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on May 30, 2019, which 4 See ‘‘Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China (CVD Initiation Checklist). 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. 5 See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1). 6 See April 16, 2019 Memorandum; April 19, 2019 Memorandum; and April 24, 2019 Memorandum. 7 See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997). 8 See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining ‘‘factual information’’). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 May 07, 2019 Jkt 247001 is 10 calendar days from the initial comment deadline.9 Commerce requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this 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 Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such submissions must be filed on the records of the concurrent AD investigation. Filing Requirements All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).10 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance’s APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines. Consultations Pursuant to sections 702(b)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Act, Commerce notified China of the receipt of the Petition and provided it the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petition.11 China did not request consultations. Determination of Industry Support for the Petition Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(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 9 See 19 CFR 351.303(b). Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of Commerce’s electronic filing requirements, effective 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. 11 See Commerce Letter, ‘‘Countervailing Duty Petition on Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China: Invitation for Consultations to Discuss the Petition’’ dated April 15, 2019. 10 See PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 702(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, Commerce 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 Commerce 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 Commerce and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,12 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, Commerce’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.13 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, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation.14 Based on our analysis of 12 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 Volume I of the Petition, at 12–15 and Exhibit I–2–A; see also General Issues Supplement, 13 See E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 89 / Wednesday, May 8, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES the information submitted on the record, we have determined that ceramic tile, as defined in the scope, constitute a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.15 In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 702(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 the Appendix to this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner provided its own 2018 shipments of the domestic like product and compared this to the estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.16 The petitioner estimated the production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry based on shipment data, because production data for the entire domestic industry are not available for 2018, and the petitioner has established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for data on production of ceramic tile.17 We relied on data provided by the petitioner for purposes of measuring industry support.18 Our review of the data provided in the Petition, the General Issues Supplement, the Second General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.19 First, the Petition established support from at 7; see also Second General Issues Supplement, at 3–6 and Supplemental Exhibits I–31 and I–32. 15 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as applied to this case and information regarding industry support, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China (China CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petition Covering Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. 16 See Volume I of the Petition, at 2–5 and Exhibits I–1–A through I–1–F; see also General Issues Supplement, at 8–11 and Supplemental Exhibits I–1–E, I–27, and I–28; see also Second General Issues Supplement, at 6 and Supplemental Exhibit I–1–E. 17 Id., at 3–5 and Exhibits I–1–C through I–1–F; see also General Issues Supplement, at 8–10 and Supplemental Exhibits I–1–E, I–27, and I–28; see also Second General Issues Supplement, at 6 and Supplemental Exhibit I–1–E. 18 See Volume I of the Petition, at 2–5 and Exhibits I–1–A through I–1–F; see also General Issues Supplement, at 8–11 and Supplemental Exhibits I–1–E, I–27, and I–28; see also Second General Issues Supplement, at 6 and Supplemental Exhibit I–1–E. For further discussion, see China CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 19 See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 May 07, 2019 Jkt 247001 domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, Commerce is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).20 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(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.21 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(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.22 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Injury Test Because China is a ‘‘Subsidies Agreement Country’’ within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry. Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation The petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.23 The petitioner contends that the industry’s injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; reduced market share; adverse impact on the domestic industry’s production, capacity utilization, U.S. shipments, employment variables, and financial performance; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales 20 Id.; 21 See see also section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act. CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 22 Id. 23 See Volume I of the Petition, at 22–23 and Exhibit I–9. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20103 and revenue; negative impact on the domestic industry’s return on investments; the cancellation or postponement of expansion projects for U.S. production facilities; reduced spending on research and development; and an increase in end-of-year production inventories.24 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, causation, as well as negligibility, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.25 Initiation of CVD Investigation Based on the examination of the Petition, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 702 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether imports of ceramic tile from China benefit from countervailable subsidies conferred by the Government of China. Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation, in whole or part, on each of the alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see China CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS. In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation. Respondent Selection The petitioner named 197 companies as producers/exporters of ceramic tile in China.26 Commerce intends to follow its standard practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy rates in this investigation. In the event Commerce determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon Commerce’s resources, where appropriate, Commerce intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of ceramic tile from China during the POI under 24 See Volume I of the Petition, at 17–50 and Exhibits I–6, I–8 through I–22 and I–24 through I– 26; see also General Issues Supplement, at 11 and Exhibit I–29. 25 See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China (Attachment III). 26 See Volume I of the Petitions, at 16 and Exhibit I–5. E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 20104 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 89 / Wednesday, May 8, 2019 / Notices the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States numbers listed in the ‘‘Scope of the Investigation,’’ in the Appendix. On April 30, 2019, Commerce released CBP data on imports of ceramic tile from China under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data and respondent selection must do so within three business days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of this investigation.27 We further stated that we will not accept rebuttal comments. Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Commerce’s website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/ apo. Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date noted above. We intend to finalize our decisions regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice. Distribution of Copies of the Petition In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to China via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2). ITC Notification We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Preliminary Determination by the ITC The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of ceramic tile from China are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.28 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.29 Otherwise, this investigation will 27 See Memorandum, ‘‘Ceramic Tile from the People’s Republic of China—Release of Customs Data,’’ dated April 30, 2019. 28 See section 703(a)(2) of the Act. 29 See section 703(a)(1) of the Act. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 May 07, 2019 Jkt 247001 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 adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by Commerce; 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 30 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.31 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. Interested parties should 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 351.301, 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 351.301. 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 a letter or memorandum of 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 untimelyfiled requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 30 See 31 See PO 00000 19 CFR 351.301(b). 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2). Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (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.32 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).33 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable certification requirements. Notification to Interested Parties Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce 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 at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c). Dated: April 30, 2019. Jeffrey I. Kessler, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Investigation The merchandise covered by this investigation is ceramic flooring tile, wall tile, paving tile, hearth tile, porcelain tile, mosaic tile, flags, finishing tile, and the like (hereinafter ceramic tile). Ceramic tiles are articles containing a mixture of minerals including clay (generally hydrous silicates of alumina or magnesium) that are fired so the raw materials are fused to produce a finished good that is less than 3.2 cm in actual thickness. All ceramic tile is subject to the scope regardless of end use, surface area, and weight, regardless of whether the tile is glazed or unglazed, regardless of the water absorption coefficient by weight, regardless of the extent of vitrification, and regardless of whether or not the tile is on a backing. Subject merchandise includes ceramic tile with decorative features that may in spots exceed 3.2 cm in thickness and includes 32 See section 782(b) of the Act. Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_ info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf. 33 See E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 89 / Wednesday, May 8, 2019 / Notices ceramic tile ‘‘slabs’’ or ‘‘panels’’ (tiles that are larger than 1 meter2 (11 ft.2)). Subject merchandise includes ceramic tile that undergoes minor processing in a third country prior to importation into the United States. Similarly, subject merchandise includes ceramic tile produced that undergoes minor processing after importation into the United States. Such minor processing includes, but is not limited to, one or more of the following: Beveling, cutting, trimming, staining, painting, polishing, finishing, additional firing, or any other processing that would otherwise not remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the in-scope product. Subject merchandise is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under the following subheadings of heading 6907: 6907.21.1005, 6907.21.1011, 6907.21.1051, 6907.21.2000, 6907.21.3000, 6907.21.4000, 6907.21.9011, 6907.21.9051, 6907.22.1005, 6907.22.1011, 6907.22.1051, 6907.22.2000, 6907.22.3000, 6907.22.4000, 6907.22.9011, 6907.22.9051, 6907.23.1005, 6907.23.1011, 6907.23.1051, 6907.23.2000, 6907.23.3000, 6907.23.4000, 6907.23.9011, 6907.23.9051, 6907.30.1005, 6907.30.1011, 6907.30.1051, 6907.30.2000, 6907.30.3000, 6907.30.4000, 6907.30.9011, 6907.30.9051, 6907.40.1005, 6907.40.1011, 6907.40.1051, 6907.40.2000, 6907.40.3000, 6907.40.4000, 6907.40.9011, and 6907.40.9051. Subject merchandise may also enter under subheadings of headings 6914 and 6905: 6914.10.8000, 6914.90.8000, 6905.10.0000, and 6905.90.0050. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive. [FR Doc. 2019–09452 Filed 5–7–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; NIST Associates Information System National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before July 8, 2019. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 May 07, 2019 Jkt 247001 Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the internet at docpra@doc.gov). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Mary Clague, 301–975–4188, mary.clague@nist.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract NIST Associates (NA) will include guest researchers, research associates, contractors, and other non-NIST employees that require access to NIST campuses or NIST resources. The NIST Associates Information System (NAIS) information collection instrument(s) are completed by the incoming NAs. The NAs will be requested to provide personal identifying data including home address, date and place of birth, employer name and address, and basic security information. The data provided by the collection instruments will be input into NAIS, which automatically populates the appropriate forms, and is routed through the approval process. NIST’s Office of Security receives security forms through the NAIS process and is able to allow preliminary access to NAs to the NIST campuses or resources. The data collected will also be the basis for further security investigations as necessary. II. Method of Collection The information is collected in paper format. III. Data OMB Control Number: 0693–0067. Form Number(s): None. Type of Review: Revision and extension of a current information collection. Affected Public: Individuals or households. Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,000. Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,000. Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0. IV. Request for Comments NIST invites comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20105 information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Sheleen Dumas, Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department. [FR Doc. 2019–09458 Filed 5–7–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG959 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the HawaiiSouthern California Training and Testing Study Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for regulations and Letters of Authorization extension; request for comments and information. AGENCY: NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) to extend the expiration date from December 2023 to December 2025 for Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to Navy training and testing activities conducted in the HawaiiSouthern California Training and Testing (HSTT) Study Area. In August 2018, the MMPA was amended by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 to allow for seven-year authorizations for military readiness activities, as compared to the previously allowed five years. The Navy’s activities qualify as military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA as amended by the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2004. In making the request to extend the time period covered by the MMPA 2018 HSTT regulations from five to seven years, the Navy proposes no changes to their specified activities, the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 89 (Wednesday, May 8, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20101-20105]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-09452]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[C-570-109]


Ceramic Tile From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of 
Countervailing Duty Investigation

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

DATES: Applicable April 30, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yasmin Bordas at (202) 482-3813; Moses 
Song at (202) 482-7885; John McGowan at (202) 492-3019, respectively; 
AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International 
Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution 
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Petition

    On April 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) 
received a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition concerning imports of 
ceramic tile from the People's Republic of China (China), filed in 
proper form on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ceramic Tile 
(the petitioner).\1\ The CVD Petition was accompanied by an antidumping 
duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of ceramic tile from China.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See Petitioner's Letter, ``Petitions for the Imposition of 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile 
from the People's Republic of China,'' dated April 10, 2019 (the 
Petition); see also Memorandum, ``Decision Memorandum Concerning the 
Filing Date of the Petitions,'' dated April 16, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Between April 15 and 24, 2019, Commerce requested supplemental 
information pertaining to certain aspects of the Petition.\2\ The 
petitioner filed responses to these requests between April 17 and April 
25, 2019.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See Commerce's Letters, ``Petitions for the Imposition of 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile 
from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,'' dated 
April 15, 2019 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); 
``Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of 
Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental 
Questions,'' dated April 15, 2019 (CVD Supplemental Questionnaire); 
see also Memoranda, ``Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping 
and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the 
People's Republic of China: Phone Call with Counsel to the 
Petitioner,'' dated April 16, 2019 (April 16, 2019 Memorandum); 
``Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing 
Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic of 
China: Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner,'' dated April 19, 
2019 (April 19, 2019 Memorandum); and ``Petitions for the Imposition 
of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Ceramic Tile 
from the People's Republic of China: Phone Call with Counsel to the 
Petitioner,'' dated April 24, 2019 (April 24, 2019 Memorandum).
    \3\ See the Petitioner's Letters, ``Countervailing Duty 
Investigation of Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic of China: 
FTCTs Response to the Department's Supplemental Questions on the 
Petition,'' dated April 17, 2019 (General Issues Supplement); 
``Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ceramic Tile 
from the People's republic of China: FTCT's Response to the 
Department's Supplemental Questions on the Petition,'' dated April 
17, 2019 (CVD Supplement Response); ``Antidumping and Countervailing 
Duty Investigation of Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic of 
China: FTCT's Response to the Department's Second Supplemental 
Questions on General Issues of Petition pertaining to DOC Case Nos. 
A-570-108 & C-570-109,'' dated April 22, 2019 (Second General Issues 
Supplement); and ``Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigation 
of Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic of China: FTCT's Response 
to the Department's Third Supplemental Questions on General Issues 
of Petition pertaining to DOC Case Nos. A-570-108 & C-570-109,'' 
dated April 25, 2019 (Third General Issues Supplement).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as 
amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that the Government of China 
is providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 
701 and 771(5) of the Act, to producers of ceramic tile in China, and 
that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material 
injury to, the domestic industry producing ceramic tile in the United 
States. Consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 
351.202(b), for those alleged programs on which we are initiating a CVD 
investigation, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably 
available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.
    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed this Petition on behalf of 
the domestic industry, because the petitioner is an interested party, 
as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act. Commerce also finds that 
the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry

[[Page 20102]]

support with respect to the initiation of the requested CVD 
investigation.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See ``Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation 
Checklist: Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic of China (CVD 
Initiation Checklist). 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on April 10, 2019, the period of 
investigation (POI) is January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation consists of ceramic 
tile from China. For a full description of the scope of this 
investigation, see the Appendix to this notice.

Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, we contacted the petitioner 
regarding the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the 
Petition is an accurate reflection of the products for which the 
domestic industry is seeking relief.\6\ As a result, the scope of the 
Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered 
by the Petition. The description of the merchandise covered by this 
investigation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects 
these clarifications.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See April 16, 2019 Memorandum; April 19, 2019 Memorandum; 
and April 24, 2019 Memorandum.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As discussed in the Preamble to Commerce's regulations, we are 
setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding 
product coverage (scope).\7\ Commerce will consider all comments 
received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with 
interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary 
determination. If scope comments include factual information,\8\ all 
such factual information should be limited to public information. To 
facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, Commerce requests that 
all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time 
(ET) on May 20, 2019, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date 
of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual 
information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on May 30, 2019, which is 10 
calendar days from the initial comment deadline.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 
62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).
    \8\ See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining ``factual 
information'').
    \9\ See 19 CFR 351.303(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Commerce requests that any factual information the parties consider 
relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this 
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 Commerce and request permission to 
submit the additional information. All such submissions must be filed 
on the records of the concurrent AD investigation.

Filing Requirements

    All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using 
Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty 
Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).\10\ An electronically 
filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the 
time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic 
submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) 
with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 
20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable 
deadlines.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: 
Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order 
Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and 
Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 
(November 20, 2014) for details of Commerce's electronic filing 
requirements, effective 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Consultations

    Pursuant to sections 702(b)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Act, Commerce 
notified China of the receipt of the Petition and provided it the 
opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petition.\11\ 
China did not request consultations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ See Commerce Letter, ``Countervailing Duty Petition on 
Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic of China: Invitation for 
Consultations to Discuss the Petition'' dated April 15, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on 
behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(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 702(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, Commerce 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 Commerce 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 Commerce and the 
ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic 
like product,\12\ they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a 
separate and distinct authority. In addition, Commerce'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.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ See section 771(10) of the Act.
    \13\ 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, the petitioner does not 
offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope 
of the investigation.\14\ Based on our analysis of

[[Page 20103]]

the information submitted on the record, we have determined that 
ceramic tile, as defined in the scope, constitute a single domestic 
like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that 
domestic like product.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 12-15 and Exhibit I-2-A; 
see also General Issues Supplement, at 7; see also Second General 
Issues Supplement, at 3-6 and Supplemental Exhibits I-31 and I-32.
    \15\ For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as 
applied to this case and information regarding industry support, see 
Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Ceramic Tile 
from the People's Republic of China (China CVD Initiation 
Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petition Covering Ceramic Tile 
from the People's Republic of China (Attachment II). This checklist 
is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically 
via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available 
in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of 
Commerce building.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 
702(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 the Appendix to 
this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner provided its 
own 2018 shipments of the domestic like product and compared this to 
the estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the 
entire domestic industry.\16\ The petitioner estimated the production 
of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry based on 
shipment data, because production data for the entire domestic industry 
are not available for 2018, and the petitioner has established that 
shipments are a reasonable proxy for data on production of ceramic 
tile.\17\ We relied on data provided by the petitioner for purposes of 
measuring industry support.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 2-5 and Exhibits I-1-A 
through I-1-F; see also General Issues Supplement, at 8-11 and 
Supplemental Exhibits I-1-E, I-27, and I-28; see also Second General 
Issues Supplement, at 6 and Supplemental Exhibit I-1-E.
    \17\ Id., at 3-5 and Exhibits I-1-C through I-1-F; see also 
General Issues Supplement, at 8-10 and Supplemental Exhibits I-1-E, 
I-27, and I-28; see also Second General Issues Supplement, at 6 and 
Supplemental Exhibit I-1-E.
    \18\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 2-5 and Exhibits I-1-A 
through I-1-F; see also General Issues Supplement, at 8-11 and 
Supplemental Exhibits I-1-E, I-27, and I-28; see also Second General 
Issues Supplement, at 6 and Supplemental Exhibit I-1-E. For further 
discussion, see China CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, the General Issues 
Supplement, the Second General Issues Supplement, and other information 
readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner has 
established industry support for the Petition.\19\ 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, Commerce is not required to take further action 
in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).\20\ Second, the 
domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for 
industry support under section 702(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.\21\ Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the 
statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(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.\22\ 
Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf 
of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the 
Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \20\ Id.; see also section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act.
    \21\ See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \22\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Injury Test

    Because China is a ``Subsidies Agreement Country'' within the 
meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act 
applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine 
whether imports of the subject merchandise from China materially 
injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are 
benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are 
causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry 
producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioner 
alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold 
provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 22-23 and Exhibit I-9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is 
illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; 
reduced market share; adverse impact on the domestic industry's 
production, capacity utilization, U.S. shipments, employment variables, 
and financial performance; underselling and price depression or 
suppression; lost sales and revenue; negative impact on the domestic 
industry's return on investments; the cancellation or postponement of 
expansion projects for U.S. production facilities; reduced spending on 
research and development; and an increase in end-of-year production 
inventories.\24\ We have assessed the allegations and supporting 
evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, 
causation, as well as negligibility, and we have determined that these 
allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the 
statutory requirements for initiation.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 17-50 and Exhibits I-6, I-
8 through I-22 and I-24 through I-26; see also General Issues 
Supplement, at 11 and Exhibit I-29.
    \25\ See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis 
of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Ceramic Tile 
from the People's Republic of China (Attachment III).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Initiation of CVD Investigation

    Based on the examination of the Petition, we find that the Petition 
meets the requirements of section 702 of the Act. Therefore, we are 
initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether imports of ceramic 
tile from China benefit from countervailable subsidies conferred by the 
Government of China. Based on our review of the Petition, we find that 
there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation, in 
whole or part, on each of the alleged programs. For a full discussion 
of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see China 
CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist 
for this investigation is available on ACCESS. In accordance with 
section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless 
postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 
days after the date of this initiation.

Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named 197 companies as producers/exporters of 
ceramic tile in China.\26\ Commerce intends to follow its standard 
practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy 
rates in this investigation. In the event Commerce determines that the 
number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each 
company based upon Commerce's resources, where appropriate, Commerce 
intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of ceramic tile from 
China during the POI under

[[Page 20104]]

the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States numbers 
listed in the ``Scope of the Investigation,'' in the Appendix.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ See Volume I of the Petitions, at 16 and Exhibit I-5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On April 30, 2019, Commerce released CBP data on imports of ceramic 
tile from China under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all 
parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that 
interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data and 
respondent selection must do so within three business days of the 
publication date of the notice of initiation of this investigation.\27\ 
We further stated that we will not accept rebuttal comments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ See Memorandum, ``Ceramic Tile from the People's Republic 
of China--Release of Customs Data,'' dated April 30, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under 
APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such 
applications may be found on the Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.
    Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An 
electronically filed document must be received successfully, in its 
entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date noted above. 
We intend to finalize our decisions regarding respondent selection 
within 20 days of publication of this notice.

Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 
351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been 
provided to China via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will 
attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each 
exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 
702(d) of the Act.

Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date 
on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable 
indication that imports of ceramic tile from China are materially 
injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.\28\ A 
negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being 
terminated.\29\ Otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to 
statutory and regulatory time limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.
    \29\ See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 Commerce; 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 \30\ 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.\31\ 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. Interested parties should review the 
regulations prior to submitting factual information in this 
investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b).
    \31\ 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 351.301, 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 351.301. 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 a letter or memorandum of 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. Parties 
should 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.\32\ 
Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 
351.303(g).\33\ Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the 
submitting party does not comply with the applicable certification 
requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ See section 782(b) of the Act.
    \33\ 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 
APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce 
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 at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).
    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 
777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: April 30, 2019.
Jeffrey I. Kessler,
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

Appendix

Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is ceramic 
flooring tile, wall tile, paving tile, hearth tile, porcelain tile, 
mosaic tile, flags, finishing tile, and the like (hereinafter 
ceramic tile). Ceramic tiles are articles containing a mixture of 
minerals including clay (generally hydrous silicates of alumina or 
magnesium) that are fired so the raw materials are fused to produce 
a finished good that is less than 3.2 cm in actual thickness. All 
ceramic tile is subject to the scope regardless of end use, surface 
area, and weight, regardless of whether the tile is glazed or 
unglazed, regardless of the water absorption coefficient by weight, 
regardless of the extent of vitrification, and regardless of whether 
or not the tile is on a backing. Subject merchandise includes 
ceramic tile with decorative features that may in spots exceed 3.2 
cm in thickness and includes

[[Page 20105]]

ceramic tile ``slabs'' or ``panels'' (tiles that are larger than 1 
meter\2\ (11 ft.\2\)).
    Subject merchandise includes ceramic tile that undergoes minor 
processing in a third country prior to importation into the United 
States. Similarly, subject merchandise includes ceramic tile 
produced that undergoes minor processing after importation into the 
United States. Such minor processing includes, but is not limited 
to, one or more of the following: Beveling, cutting, trimming, 
staining, painting, polishing, finishing, additional firing, or any 
other processing that would otherwise not remove the merchandise 
from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of 
manufacture of the in-scope product.
    Subject merchandise is currently classified in the Harmonized 
Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under the following 
subheadings of heading 6907: 6907.21.1005, 6907.21.1011, 
6907.21.1051, 6907.21.2000, 6907.21.3000, 6907.21.4000, 
6907.21.9011, 6907.21.9051, 6907.22.1005, 6907.22.1011, 
6907.22.1051, 6907.22.2000, 6907.22.3000, 6907.22.4000, 
6907.22.9011, 6907.22.9051, 6907.23.1005, 6907.23.1011, 
6907.23.1051, 6907.23.2000, 6907.23.3000, 6907.23.4000, 
6907.23.9011, 6907.23.9051, 6907.30.1005, 6907.30.1011, 
6907.30.1051, 6907.30.2000, 6907.30.3000, 6907.30.4000, 
6907.30.9011, 6907.30.9051, 6907.40.1005, 6907.40.1011, 
6907.40.1051, 6907.40.2000, 6907.40.3000, 6907.40.4000, 
6907.40.9011, and 6907.40.9051. Subject merchandise may also enter 
under subheadings of headings 6914 and 6905: 6914.10.8000, 
6914.90.8000, 6905.10.0000, and 6905.90.0050. The HTSUS subheadings 
are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written 
description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

[FR Doc. 2019-09452 Filed 5-7-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P