Difluoromethane (R-32) From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 10406-10410 [2020-03527]

Download as PDF 10406 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 36 / Monday, February 24, 2020 / Notices gianna.marrone@bea.gov. The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for foreign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Gianna Marrone at (301) 278–9282 by May 8, 2020. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Committee was established September 2, 1999. The Committee advises the Director of BEA on matters related to the development and improvement of BEA’s national, regional, industry, and international economic accounts, with a focus on new and rapidly growing areas of the U.S. economy. The committee provides recommendations from the perspectives of the economics profession, business, and government. Dated: February 18, 2020. Shaunda Villones, Designated Federal Officer, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Notice and opportunity for public comment. ACTION: The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of the firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firms’ workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: [FR Doc. 2020–03563 Filed 2–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–06–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. AGENCY: LIST OF PETITIONS RECEIVED BY EDA FOR CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY FOR TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE [1/24/2020 through 2/18/2020] Firm address Marzilli Machine Co. ................................ 621 South Almond Street, Fall River, MA 02724. 6 Lyberty Way, Unit 102, Westford, MA 01886. 2/13/2020 Uvitron International, Inc. ........................ 150 Front Street, Unit 4, West Springfield, MA 01089. 2/18/2020 Yellow Dog Design, Inc. .......................... 112 O’Connor Street, Greensboro, NC 27406. 2/18/2020 GridEdge Networks, Inc. ......................... Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice. These petitions are received pursuant to section 251 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA’s regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Date accepted for investigation Firm name International Trade Administration [A–570–121] Difluoromethane (R–32) From the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. DATES: Applicable February 12, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joshua Tucker or William Miller, AD/ CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–2044 or (202) 482–3906, respectively. AGENCY: The Petition [FR Doc. 2020–03603 Filed 2–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–WH–P 18:30 Feb 21, 2020 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Irette Patterson, Program Analyst. VerDate Sep<11>2014 2/13/2020 Jkt 250001 On January 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) received an antidumping duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Product(s) The firm manufactures metal parts, primarily of steel. The firm manufacturers systems for integrating electricity generation with electric grids. The firm manufacturers light-based systems for curing adhesives, resins, coatings, and other materials. The firm manufactures pet products, primarily of leather. difluoromethane (R–32) from the People’s Republic of China (China), filed in proper form on behalf of Arkema Inc. (the petitioner).1 On January 28, 2020, Commerce requested supplemental information pertaining to certain aspects of the Petition.2 The petitioner filed a response to this request on January 30, 2020.3 In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of R–32 from China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV) within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury 1 See Petitioner’s Letter, ‘‘Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Difluoromethane (R–32) from the People’s Republic of China,’’ dated January 23, 2020 (the Petition). 2 See Commerce’s Letter, ‘‘Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Difluoromethane (R–32) from the People’s Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,’’ dated January 28, 2020. 3 See Petitioner’s Letter, ‘‘Difluoromethane (R–32) from the People’s Republic of China: Response to Commerce’s Supplemental Questions,’’ dated January 30, 2020 (Petition Supplement). E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 36 / Monday, February 24, 2020 / Notices to, the domestic industry producing R–32 in the United States. Consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, 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)(C) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the requested AD investigation.4 factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 13, 2020, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comment deadline.8 Commerce 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 Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. Period of Investigation Because China is a non-market economy (NME) country, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), and because the Petition was filed on January 23, 2020, the period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. 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).9 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. Scope of the Investigation The merchandise covered by this investigation is R–32 from China. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to this notice. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Comments on Scope of the Investigation During our review of the Petition, we requested that the petitioner make minor modifications to the proposed scope language in the Petition.5 As a result, the scope of the Petition was modified to reflect these requests. The description of the merchandise covered by this investigation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects these modifications. 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).6 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,7 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 March 3, 2020, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include 4 See ‘‘Determination of Industry Support for the Petition’’ section, infra. 5 See Petition Supplement. 6 See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997). 7 See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining ‘‘factual information’’). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Feb 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires Commerce is providing interested parties an opportunity to comment on the appropriate physical characteristics of R–32 to be reported in response to Commerce’s AD questionnaire. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise in order to report the relevant factors of production (FOPs) 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. In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, all 8 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%20 Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf. 9 See PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10407 comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 3, 2020, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice.10 Any rebuttal comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 13, 2020, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comment deadline. All comments and submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the record of this AD 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, 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,11 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 10 See 11 See E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 19 CFR 351.303(b). section 771(10) of the Act. 24FEN1 10408 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 36 / Monday, February 24, 2020 / Notices lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12 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 Petition.13 Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that R–32, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.14 In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the ‘‘Scope of the Investigation,’’ in the Appendix to this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2019.15 The petitioner states that there are no other known producers of R–32 in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. industry.16 We relied on data provided by the petitioner for purposes of measuring industry support.17 Our review of the data provided in the Petition and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.18 First, the 12 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)). 13 See Volume I of the Petition, at 10–13. 14 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as applied to these cases and information regarding industry support, see ‘‘Antidumping Duty Initiation Checklist: Difluoromethane (R–32) from the People’s Republic of China,’’ (Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Industry Support for the Antidumping Duty Petition Covering Difluoromethane 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. 15 See Volume I of the Petition, at 3, 27, and Exhibit I–2. 16 Id. at 3 and Exhibit I–2. 17 Id. For further discussion, see Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 18 See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Feb 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 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).19 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.20 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.21 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act. Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation The petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at LTFV. In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.22 The petitioner contends that the industry’s injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and revenues; and a downward trend in financial indicators.23 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.24 19 See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 20 See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II. 21 Id. 22 See Volume I of the Petition, at 14–15, and Exhibits I–1 and I–2. 23 Id. at 21–36, and Exhibits I–1, I–2, I–10 through I–19, and II–13. 24 See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, and Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Allegations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value The following is a description of the allegation of sales at LTFV upon which Commerce based its decision to initiate an AD investigation of imports of R–32 from China. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and normal value (NV) are discussed in greater detail in the AD Initiation Checklist. Export Price The petitioner based export price (EP) on a price quote to a customer in the United States for the sale of R–32 produced in and exported from China.25 The price quote is stated on a free, onboard basis; therefore, the petitioner made no adjustment for ocean freight expenses. Additionally, the petitioner conservatively did not make an adjustment for foreign inland freight expenses.26 Normal Value Commerce considers China to be an NME country.27 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, any determination that a foreign country is an NME country shall remain in effect until revoked by Commerce. Therefore, we continue to treat China as an NME country for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, NV in China is appropriately based on FOPs valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.28 The petitioner asserts that Malaysia is an appropriate surrogate country for China because it is a market economy that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of China and it is a significant producer of comparable merchandise.29 The petitioner provided publicly available information from Malaysia to value all FOPs. Based on the information provided by the petitioner, we Injury and Causation for the Antidumping Duty Petition Covering Difluoromethane from the People’s Republic of China (Attachment III). 25 See Volume II of the Petition, at 41 and Exhibit II–3; see also Petition Supplement, at 2 and S–4. 26 See Volume II of the Petition, at 41 and Exhibit II–3; see also Petition Supplement, at 2 and S–4. 27 See Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People’s Republic of China: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 82 FR 50858, 50861 (November 2, 2017), and accompanying Decision Memorandum, China’s Status as a Non-Market Economy, unchanged in Certain Aluminum Foil from the People’s Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 83 FR 9282 (March 5, 2018). 28 See Initiation Checklist. 29 See Volume II of the Petition, at 37–39 and Exhibit II–2, Exhibit II–4. E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 36 / Monday, February 24, 2020 / Notices determine that it is appropriate to use Malaysia 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 no later than 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination. Factors of Production Because information regarding the volume of inputs consumed by the Chinese producer/exporter was not reasonably available, the petitioner used its own product-specific consumption rates as a surrogate to estimate the Chinese manufacturer’s FOPs.30 The petitioner valued the estimated FOPs using surrogate values from Malaysia, as noted above.31 The petitioner calculated factory overhead, selling, general and administrative expenses, and profit based on the experience of a Malaysian producer of comparable merchandise (i.e., industrial gases).32 Fair Value Comparisons Based on the data provided by the Petition, there is reason to believe that imports of R–32 from China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at LTFV. Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with sections 772 and 773 of the Act, the estimated dumping margin for R–32 from China is 87.83 percent.33 Initiation of LTFV Investigation Based upon the examination of the Petition on R–32 from China, 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 R–32 from China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at LTFV. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Respondent Selection The petitioner named 19 companies in China as producers/exporters of R– 32.34 Commerce will issue quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires to all 19 identified producers and exporters. In 30 Id. at 39 and Exhibit II–3. at 39–41. 32 See Volume II of the Petition, at 40, and Exhibit II–10 and Exhibit II–11. 33 See Petition Supplement at Exhibit S–5; see also Initiation Checklist. 34 See Petition Supplement at Exhibit S–1. 31 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Feb 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 addition, Commerce will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance website at http:// www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp. In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to base respondent selection on the responses to the Q&V questionnaire that we receive. Producers/exporters of R–32 from China 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 website. The Q&V response must be submitted by the relevant China exporters/producers no later than February 28, 2020. 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.35 The specific requirements for submitting a separate rate application in the China investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on Commerce’s website 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.36 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 Commerce’s AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. Commerce requires that companies from China 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. Use of Combination Rates Commerce 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: 35 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). 36 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. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10409 {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.37 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 China via ACCESS. Because of the large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition, Commerce 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 China, 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 R–32 from China are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.38 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.39 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 adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 37 See 38 See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added). section 733(a) of the Act. 39 Id. E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1 10410 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 36 / Monday, February 24, 2020 / Notices 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 40 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.41 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. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES 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 (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 countervailing duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.42 Parties must use the 40 See 19 CFR 351.301(b). 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2). 42 See section 782(b) of the Act. 41 See VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Feb 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).43 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 administrative protective order (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 in 19 CFR 351.103(d)). This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 732(c)(2) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c). Dated: February 12, 2020. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Investigation The merchandise covered by this investigation is difluoromethane (R–32), or its chemical equivalent, regardless of form, type or purity level. R–32 has the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number of 75–10–5 and the chemical formula CH2F2. R– 32 is also referred to as difluoromethane, HFC–32, FC–32, Freon-32, methylene difluoride, methylene fluoride, carbon fluoride hydride, halocarbon R32, fluorocarbon R32, and UN 3252. Subject merchandise also includes R–32 and unpurified R–32 that are processed in a third country or the United States, including, but not limited to, purifying or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of this investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the in-scope R–32. R–32 that has been blended with products other than pentafluoroethane (R–125) is included within this scope if such blends contain 85% or more by volume on an actual percentage basis of R–32. In addition, R–32 that has been blended with any amount of R–125 is included within this scope if such blends contain more than 52% by volume on an actual percentage basis of R–32. Whether R– 32 is blended with R–125 or other products, only the R–32 component of the mixture is covered by the scope of this investigation. The scope also includes R–32 that is commingled with R–32 from sources not 43 See also Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule). Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule are available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_ info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation. Excluded from the current scope is merchandise covered by the scope of the antidumping order on hydrofluorocarbon blends from the People’s Republic of China. See Hydrofluorocarbon Blends from the People’s Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 81 FR 55436 (August 19, 2016) (the Blends Order). R–32 is classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 2903.39.2035. Other merchandise subject to the current scope, including the abovementioned blends that are outside the scope of the Blends Order, may be classified under 2903.39.2045 and 3824.78.0020. The HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive. [FR Doc. 2020–03527 Filed 2–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Value Chain Industry Roundtable International Trade Administration, DOC. ACTION: Notice of a roundtable discussion on challenges and opportunities for strengthening the U.S. solar supply chain for PV manufacturing. AGENCY: Through this notice, the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the Department of Commerce announces a roundtable discussion with industry representatives and U.S. government staff. ITA invites applications to participate in the roundtable from existing manufacturers and prospective new market entrants, with products that are or will be produced in the United States in one or more of the following segments: Solargrade polysilicon, silicon ingots, silicon wafers, solar cells, and solar modules. DATES: Event: The roundtable will be held on March 19, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Event Registration: ITA will evaluate registrations based on the submitted information (see below) and inform applicants of selection decisions, which will be made on a rolling basis until 30 participants have been selected. ADDRESSES: Event: The roundtable will be held at the Department of Commerce, Commerce Research Library, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 36 (Monday, February 24, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10406-10410]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-03527]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[A-570-121]


Difluoromethane (R-32) 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: Applicable February 12, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joshua Tucker or William Miller, AD/
CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International 
Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution 
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2044 or (202) 
482-3906, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

The Petition

    On January 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) 
received an antidumping duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of 
difluoromethane (R-32) from the People's Republic of China (China), 
filed in proper form on behalf of Arkema Inc. (the petitioner).\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See Petitioner's Letter, ``Petitions for the Imposition of 
Antidumping Duties on Imports of Difluoromethane (R-32) from the 
People's Republic of China,'' dated January 23, 2020 (the Petition).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On January 28, 2020, Commerce requested supplemental information 
pertaining to certain aspects of the Petition.\2\ The petitioner filed 
a response to this request on January 30, 2020.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See Commerce's Letter, ``Petition for the Imposition of 
Antidumping Duties on Imports of Difluoromethane (R-32) from the 
People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,'' dated January 
28, 2020.
    \3\ See Petitioner's Letter, ``Difluoromethane (R-32) from the 
People's Republic of China: Response to Commerce's Supplemental 
Questions,'' dated January 30, 2020 (Petition Supplement).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as 
amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of R-32 from 
China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less 
than fair value (LTFV) within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, 
and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material 
injury

[[Page 10407]]

to, the domestic industry producing R-32 in the United States. 
Consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, 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)(C) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the 
petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the 
initiation of the requested AD investigation.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See ``Determination of Industry Support for the Petition'' 
section, infra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Period of Investigation

    Because China is a non-market economy (NME) country, pursuant to 19 
CFR 351.204(b)(1), and because the Petition was filed on January 23, 
2020, the period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2019 through 
December 31, 2019.

Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is R-32 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 requested that the petitioner 
make minor modifications to the proposed scope language in the 
Petition.\5\ As a result, the scope of the Petition was modified to 
reflect these requests. The description of the merchandise covered by 
this investigation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, 
reflects these modifications.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See Petition Supplement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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).\6\ 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,\7\ 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 March 3, 2020, which is 20 calendar days from the signature 
date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual 
information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 13, 2020, which is 
10 calendar days from the initial comment deadline.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 
27323 (May 19, 1997).
    \7\ See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining ``factual 
information'').
    \8\ 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 
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 Commerce and request permission to 
submit the additional information.

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).\9\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    Commerce is providing interested parties an opportunity to comment 
on the appropriate physical characteristics of R-32 to be reported in 
response to Commerce's AD questionnaire. This information will be used 
to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise 
in order to report the relevant factors of production (FOPs) 
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. 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 March 3, 2020, which is 20 
calendar days from the signature date of this notice.\10\ Any rebuttal 
comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 13, 2020, which is 10 
calendar days from the initial comment deadline. All comments and 
submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as 
explained above, on the record of this AD investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ See 19 CFR 351.303(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, 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,\11\ 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

[[Page 10408]]

differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to 
law.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ See section 771(10) of the Act.
    \12\ 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 Petition.\13\ Based on our analysis of the information submitted 
on the record, we have determined that R-32, as defined in the scope, 
constitutes a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed 
industry support in terms of that domestic like product.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 10-13.
    \14\ For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as 
applied to these cases and information regarding industry support, 
see ``Antidumping Duty Initiation Checklist: Difluoromethane (R-32) 
from the People's Republic of China,'' (Initiation Checklist), at 
Attachment II, Industry Support for the Antidumping Duty Petition 
Covering Difluoromethane 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 the petitioner has standing under section 
732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data 
contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product 
as defined in the ``Scope of the Investigation,'' in the Appendix to 
this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner provided its 
own production of the domestic like product in 2019.\15\ The petitioner 
states that there are no other known producers of R-32 in the United 
States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. 
industry.\16\ We relied on data provided by the petitioner for purposes 
of measuring industry support.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 3, 27, and Exhibit I-2.
    \16\ Id. at 3 and Exhibit I-2.
    \17\ Id. For further discussion, see Initiation Checklist, at 
Attachment II.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition and other 
information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner 
has established industry support for the Petition.\18\ 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).\19\ 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.\20\ 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.\21\ 
Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf 
of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the 
Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \19\ See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Initiation 
Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \20\ See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \21\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the 
domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened 
with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject 
merchandise sold at LTFV. In addition, the petitioner alleges that 
subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under 
section 771(24)(A) of the Act.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ See Volume I of the Petition, at 14-15, and Exhibits I-1 
and I-2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is 
illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; 
reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; 
lost sales and revenues; and a downward trend in financial 
indicators.\23\ 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.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Id. at 21-36, and Exhibits I-1, I-2, I-10 through I-19, and 
II-13.
    \24\ See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, and Analysis 
of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the 
Antidumping Duty Petition Covering Difluoromethane 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 LTFV 
upon which Commerce based its decision to initiate an AD investigation 
of imports of R-32 from China. The sources of data for the deductions 
and adjustments relating to U.S. price and normal value (NV) are 
discussed in greater detail in the AD Initiation Checklist.

Export Price

    The petitioner based export price (EP) on a price quote to a 
customer in the United States for the sale of R-32 produced in and 
exported from China.\25\ The price quote is stated on a free, on-board 
basis; therefore, the petitioner made no adjustment for ocean freight 
expenses. Additionally, the petitioner conservatively did not make an 
adjustment for foreign inland freight expenses.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 41 and Exhibit II-3; see 
also Petition Supplement, at 2 and S-4.
    \26\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 41 and Exhibit II-3; see 
also Petition Supplement, at 2 and S-4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Normal Value

    Commerce considers China to be an NME country.\27\ In accordance 
with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, any determination that a foreign 
country is an NME country shall remain in effect until revoked by 
Commerce. Therefore, we continue to treat China as an NME country for 
purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, NV in 
China is appropriately based on FOPs valued in a surrogate market 
economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ See Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Aluminum Foil 
from the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Preliminary 
Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Postponement of 
Final Determination, 82 FR 50858, 50861 (November 2, 2017), and 
accompanying Decision Memorandum, China's Status as a Non-Market 
Economy, unchanged in Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's 
Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair 
Value, 83 FR 9282 (March 5, 2018).
    \28\ See Initiation Checklist.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The petitioner asserts that Malaysia is an appropriate surrogate 
country for China because it is a market economy that is at a level of 
economic development comparable to that of China and it is a 
significant producer of comparable merchandise.\29\ The petitioner 
provided publicly available information from Malaysia to value all 
FOPs. Based on the information provided by the petitioner, we

[[Page 10409]]

determine that it is appropriate to use Malaysia as a surrogate country 
for initiation purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 37-39 and Exhibit II-2, 
Exhibit II-4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 no later than 30 days before the 
scheduled date of the preliminary determination.

Factors of Production

    Because information regarding the volume of inputs consumed by the 
Chinese producer/exporter was not reasonably available, the petitioner 
used its own product-specific consumption rates as a surrogate to 
estimate the Chinese manufacturer's FOPs.\30\ The petitioner valued the 
estimated FOPs using surrogate values from Malaysia, as noted 
above.\31\ The petitioner calculated factory overhead, selling, general 
and administrative expenses, and profit based on the experience of a 
Malaysian producer of comparable merchandise (i.e., industrial 
gases).\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ Id. at 39 and Exhibit II-3.
    \31\ Id. at 39-41.
    \32\ See Volume II of the Petition, at 40, and Exhibit II-10 and 
Exhibit II-11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the Petition, there is reason to 
believe that imports of R-32 from China are being, or are likely to be, 
sold in the United States at LTFV. Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in 
accordance with sections 772 and 773 of the Act, the estimated dumping 
margin for R-32 from China is 87.83 percent.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ See Petition Supplement at Exhibit S-5; see also Initiation 
Checklist.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Initiation of LTFV Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the Petition on R-32 from China, 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 R-32 from China are being, or are likely to be, sold 
in the United States at LTFV. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) 
of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our 
preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this 
initiation.

Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named 19 companies in China as producers/exporters 
of R-32.\34\ Commerce will issue quantity and value (Q&V) 
questionnaires to all 19 identified producers and exporters. In 
addition, Commerce will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing 
instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance website at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp. In accordance with our standard 
practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, 
we intend to base respondent selection on the responses to the Q&V 
questionnaire that we receive.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ See Petition Supplement at Exhibit S-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Producers/exporters of R-32 from China 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 
website. The Q&V response must be submitted by the relevant China 
exporters/producers no later than February 28, 2020. 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.\35\ 
The specific requirements for submitting a separate rate application in 
the China investigation are outlined in detail in the application 
itself, which is available on Commerce's website 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.\36\ 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 Commerce's AD questionnaire as mandatory 
respondents. Commerce requires that companies from China 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ 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).
    \36\ 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

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

{w{time} hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates 
only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now 
assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers 
that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, 
however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the 
producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period 
of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory 
respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as 
well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-
average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is 
referred to as the application of ``combination rates'' because such 
rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more 
producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply 
only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and 
produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of 
investigation.\37\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ 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 China via ACCESS. Because of the large 
number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition, Commerce 
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 China, 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 R-32 from China are materially injuring or 
threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.\38\ A negative ITC 
determination will result in the investigation being terminated.\39\ 
Otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and 
regulatory time limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ See section 733(a) of the Act.
    \39\ 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

[[Page 10410]]

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 
\40\ 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.\41\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b).
    \41\ 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 countervailing 
duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that 
information.\42\ Parties must use the certification formats provided in 
19 CFR 351.303(g).\43\ Commerce intends to reject factual submissions 
if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable 
certification requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ See section 782(b) of the Act.
    \43\ See also Certification of Factual Information to Import 
Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty 
Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule). Answers to 
frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule are 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, 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 in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).
    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 732(c)(2) 
and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: February 12, 2020.
Christian Marsh,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

Appendix

Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is difluoromethane 
(R-32), or its chemical equivalent, regardless of form, type or 
purity level. R-32 has the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry 
number of 75-10-5 and the chemical formula 
CH2F2. R-32 is also referred to as 
difluoromethane, HFC-32, FC-32, Freon-32, methylene difluoride, 
methylene fluoride, carbon fluoride hydride, halocarbon R32, 
fluorocarbon R32, and UN 3252. Subject merchandise also includes R-
32 and unpurified R-32 that are processed in a third country or the 
United States, including, but not limited to, purifying or any other 
processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the 
scope of this investigation if performed in the country of 
manufacture of the in-scope R-32. R-32 that has been blended with 
products other than pentafluoroethane (R-125) is included within 
this scope if such blends contain 85% or more by volume on an actual 
percentage basis of R-32. In addition, R-32 that has been blended 
with any amount of R-125 is included within this scope if such 
blends contain more than 52% by volume on an actual percentage basis 
of R-32. Whether R-32 is blended with R-125 or other products, only 
the R-32 component of the mixture is covered by the scope of this 
investigation. The scope also includes R-32 that is commingled with 
R-32 from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the 
subject component of such commingled products is covered by the 
scope of this investigation.
    Excluded from the current scope is merchandise covered by the 
scope of the antidumping order on hydrofluorocarbon blends from the 
People's Republic of China. See Hydrofluorocarbon Blends from the 
People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 81 FR 55436 
(August 19, 2016) (the Blends Order).
    R-32 is classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the 
United States (HTSUS) subheading 2903.39.2035. Other merchandise 
subject to the current scope, including the abovementioned blends 
that are outside the scope of the Blends Order, may be classified 
under 2903.39.2045 and 3824.78.0020. The HTSUS subheadings and CAS 
registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes. 
The written description of the scope of the investigation is 
dispositive.

[FR Doc. 2020-03527 Filed 2-21-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P