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Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended Affirmative Preliminary Determination

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Cars in China

Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended Affirmative Preliminary Determination

Paul Piquado
Department of Commerce
December 30, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 249 (Tuesday, December 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78398-78400]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30544]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[C-570-017]


Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle 
and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended 
Affirmative Preliminary Determination

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) is amending the 
Preliminary Determination of the countervailing duty (CVD) 
investigation of passenger vehicle and light truck tires (passenger 
tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) to correct significant 
ministerial errors with respect to our Preliminary Determination.\1\ We 
are also amending the scope of the investigation in response to 
comments submitted following the publication of the Preliminary 
Determination. The period of investigation is January 1, 2013, through 
December 31, 2013.
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    \1\ See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger 
Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: 
Preliminary Affirmative Determination, Preliminary Affirmative 
Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part, and Alignment of 
Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 79 FR 
71093 (December 1, 2014) (Preliminary Determination).

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DATES: Effective Date: December 30, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emily Halle or Jason Rhoads, AD/CVD 
Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade 
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone 202.482.0176, 
202.482.0123, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Department announced its Preliminary Determination on November 
24, 2014, and disclosed to interested parties the calculations for the 
Preliminary Determination on November 25, 2014. The Preliminary 
Determination was published on December 1, 2014. GITI Tire (Fujian) 
Co., Ltd. (GITI Fujian) submitted ministerial error allegations on 
December 1, 2014, alleging that the Department made certain significant 
errors in the Preliminary Determination. On December 2, 2014, CTP 
Transportation Products, LLC and Carlisle (Meizhou) Rubber Products Co. 
Ltd. (CTP) submitted comments regarding the preliminary scope.\2\ 
Petitioner \3\ submitted rebuttal comments to CTP's submission 
regarding the preliminary scope on December 5, 2014.\4\ Parties 
submitted additional comments on the preliminary scope through December 
15, 2014.\5\ After reviewing the allegations, we determine that the 
Preliminary Determination included significant ministerial errors with 
respect to the calculation of certain sales denominators, and the 
benefit calculation for one company under the ``Government Policy 
Lending'' program. We are also modifying the scope of the investigation 
by temporarily suspending certain marking requirements for exclusion of 
specialty tires in response to comments raised by interested parties.
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    \2\ See Letter from CTP, ``Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light 
Truck Tires from China: Request for Meeting,'' December 2, 2014 (CTP 
Scope Comments).
    \3\ Collectively, United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, 
Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers 
International Union, and AFL-CIO, CLC.
    \4\ See Letter from Petitioner, ``Certain Passenger Vehicle and 
Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China--Scope of the 
Investigations, Petitioner's Opposition to CTP's Exclusion 
Request,'' December 5, 2014 (Petitioner Rebuttal to CTP Comments).
    \5\ See Letter from CTP, ``Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light 
Truck Tires from China: Unconstitutional Burdens on Speech Created 
by Implementation of the Department's Preliminary Affirmative 
Countervailing Duty Determination,'' December 9, 2014; Letter from 
CTP, ``Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from China: 
Response to Petitioner's Opposition to CTP's Exclusion Request,'' 
December 9, 2014; Letter from Petitioner, ``Certain Passenger 
Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China--
Scope of the Investigations, Petitioner's Reply to CTP's Response on 
Scope and Comments on Unconstitutional Burden,'' December 11, 2014; 
Letter from CTP, ``Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires 
from China: Unconstitutional Burdens on Speech Created by 
Implementation of the Department's Preliminary Affirmative 
Countervailing Duty Determination,'' December 11, 2014; Letter from 
Petitioner, ``Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from 
the People's Republic of China--Scope of the Investigations, 
Petitioner's Second Reply to CTP's Comments on Unconstitutional 
Burden,'' December 15, 2014.
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Analysis of Significant Ministerial Error Allegations

    A ministerial error is defined in 19 CFR 351.224(f) as ``an error 
in addition, subtraction, or other arithmetic function, clerical error 
resulting from inaccurate copying, duplication, or the like, and any 
other similar type of unintentional error which the Secretary considers 
ministerial.'' With respect to preliminary determinations in 
investigations, 19 CFR 351.224(e) provides that the Department ``will 
analyze any comments received and, if appropriate, correct any 
significant ministerial error by amending the preliminary 
determination. . .'' A significant ministerial error is defined as an 
error, the correction of which, singly or in combination with other 
errors, would result in: (1) A change of at least five absolute 
percentage points in, but not less than 25 percent of, the 
countervailable subsidy rate calculated in the original (erroneous) 
preliminary determination; or (2) a difference between countervailable 
subsidy rate of zero (or de minimis) and a countervailable subsidy rate 
of greater than de minimis, or vice versa.\6\
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    \6\ See 19 CFR 351.224(g).
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    As explained further in the Ministerial Error Memorandum issued 
concurrently with this Notice,\7\ we

[[Page 78399]]

determine that the Preliminary Determination contained errors with 
respect to our calculation of GITI Fujian's subsidy rate. Correction of 
these errors results in a determination that changes GITI Fujian's 
subsidy rate by at least five absolute percentage points and more than 
25 percent of the original (incorrect) rate. The Department considers 
these ministerial errors to be significant, warranting an amendment to 
our Preliminary Determination with respect to GITI Fujian.
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    \7\ See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, ``Allegation of 
Significant Ministerial Errors in the Preliminary Determination of 
the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle 
and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China,'' dated 
concurrently with this notice, for the analysis performed 
(Ministerial Error Memorandum). This memorandum is on file 
electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). 
ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, 
and is available to all parties in the Department's Central Records 
Unit in Room 7046 of the Department of Commerce building.
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Amendment of the Scope of the Investigation To Suspend Certain Marking 
Requirements

    The scope of the investigation issued in the Preliminary 
Determination contained several exclusions. We are amending the 
preliminary requirements to qualify for the exclusion for specialty 
tires in order to address comments made by interested parties regarding 
the exclusion of specialty tires from the scope of the investigation. 
Specifically, CTP submitted comments in response to the Preliminary 
Determination arguing that implementing the scope exclusion 
requirements for trailer tires effective immediately would impose 
substantial burdens on exporters currently producing trailer tires in 
adherence with industry practices.\8\ Petitioner in this investigation 
submitted rebuttal comments arguing that the scope exclusion 
requirements are necessary to prevent circumvention of cash deposit 
requirements by exporters of passenger tires.\9\ After considering the 
parties' comments, the Department has preliminarily determined that 
imposing certain marking requirements in the specialty tire exclusion 
(exclusion ``(6)'') in the scope of the Preliminary Determination is 
not warranted because imposition of these requirements could result in 
the payment of cash deposits on merchandise that Petitioner may not 
have intended to be included in the scope of the investigation. 
Accordingly, we have determined to suspend the requirements for load 
index and speed rating markings (exclusion (6)(d) and (6)(e)).\10\ We 
are retaining the other sidewall markings for the exclusion of 
specialty tires, namely the ``DOT'' designation, the prefix ``ST,'' and 
the disclaimer ``For Trailer Service Only'' or ``For Trailer Use 
Only''. The record indicates that these markings are generally included 
on tire sidewalls as part of current industry practice.\11\ We find 
that retaining these requirements is administrable and provides 
sufficient protection from possible evasion during this investigation, 
without placing an undue burden on acknowledged trailer tire producers 
(i.e., producers of non-subject merchandise) such as CTP. We note that 
it is the Department's current intent to retain the marking 
requirements for exclusion 6(d) and (e) in its final determinations in 
the CVD and antidumping duty investigations. However, interested 
parties will have the opportunity to address the necessity of these 
requirements or any amendments thereto, including the threshold speed 
requirement and associated markings, in case and rebuttal briefs for 
the Department's consideration before the final determinations in the 
CVD and antidumping duty investigations. For a full description of the 
amended scope of this investigation, see ``Scope of Investigation'' at 
the Appendix of this notice.
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    \8\ See CTP Scope Comments.
    \9\ See Petitioner Rebuttal to CTP Comments.
    \10\ See ``Scope of Investigation'' at the Appendix of this 
Notice (``(d) the load index molded on the tire's sidewall meets or 
exceeds those load indexes listed in the Tire and Rim Association 
Year Book for the relevant ST tire size, and (e) the tire's speed 
rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH 
or a letter rating as listed by TRA, and the rated speed does not 
exceed 81 MPH or an ``M'' rating;'').
    \11\ See, e.g., Letter from the China Manufacturer's Alliance 
LLC, ``CMA's Scope Comments Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light 
Truck Tires from China,'' August 11, 2014, at 6; Letter from 
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, ``Certain Passenger Vehicle 
and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Scope 
Comments,'' August 8, 2014; Letter from CTP, ``Certain Passenger 
Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China--
Comments on Scope,'' August 11, 2014. Additionally, we agree with 
Petitioner that based on evidence provided by CTP, CTP's trailer 
tires not marked with ``ST'' would not be included in the scope 
because they do not meet the numerical size designations listed in 
the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and Rim 
Association Year Book, see Petitioner Rebuttal to CTP Comments at 3.
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Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we 
calculated an amended estimated countervailable subsidy rate for GITI 
Fujian.\12\ In the Preliminary Determination, we calculated an all-
others rate using a weight average of the two responding firms' rates 
(i.e., GITI Fujian and Cooper Kunshan Tire Co., Ltd). Therefore, we are 
also amending the all-others rate to incorporate GITI Fujian's amended 
rate in the weight average of the responding firms' rate, using 
publicly-ranged data. The overall amended preliminary estimated 
countervailable subsidy rates are summarized in the table below.
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    \12\ The countervailable rate for GITI Fujian applies also to 
its cross-owned affiliated companies GITI Tire (China) Investment 
Company Ltd., GITI Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., GITI Tire 
(Hualin) Company Ltd., GITI Steel Cord (Hubei) Company Ltd., and 
Anhui Prime Cord Fabrics Company Ltd.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Subsidy rate
                    Exporter/producer                        (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
GITI Tire (Fujian) Co., Ltd. and certain cross-owned               11.74
 companies..............................................
All Others..............................................           12.03
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to 
require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amended countervailing 
duty rates reflected in this notice for GITI Fujian and all-other 
exporters or producers. This amended countervailing duty rate applies 
to GITI Fujian for all entries of passenger tires from the PRC that are 
entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the 
date of the publication of the Preliminary Determination. We are not 
changing our Preliminary Determination regarding critical 
circumstances. Therefore, we will direct CBP to apply the all-others 
amended preliminary countervailing duty rate to any unliquidated 
entries entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption for all-
other exporters or producers not individually examined, on or after the 
date which is 90 days prior to the date of publication of the 
Preliminary Determination, in accordance with section 703(e)(2)(A) of 
the Act.

International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the 
International Trade Commission (ITC) of our determination. In addition, 
we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-
proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow 
the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information 
in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such 
information, either publicly or under an administrative protective 
order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for 
Enforcement and Compliance.
    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 
703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(e).


[[Page 78400]]


    Dated: December 19, 2014.
Paul Piquado,
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

Appendix--Scope of Investigation

    The scope of this investigation is passenger vehicle and light 
truck tires. Passenger vehicle and light truck tires are new 
pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a passenger vehicle or light truck 
size designation. Tires covered by this investigation may be tube-
type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial, and they may be intended for 
sale to original equipment manufacturers or the replacement market.
    Subject tires have, at the time of importation, the symbol 
``DOT'' on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to 
applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Subject tires may also 
have the following prefixes or suffix in their tire size 
designation, which also appears on the sidewall of the tire:
    Prefix designations:

P--Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on passenger 
cars
LT--Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on light trucks

    Suffix letter designations:

LT--Identifies light truck tires for service on trucks, buses, 
trailers, and multipurpose passenger vehicles used in nominal 
highway service

    All tires with a ``P'' or ``LT'' prefix, and all tires with an 
``LT'' suffix in their sidewall markings are covered by this 
investigation regardless of their intended use.
    In addition, all tires that lack a ``P'' or ``LT'' prefix or 
suffix in their sidewall markings, as well as all tires that include 
any other prefix or suffix in their sidewall markings, are included 
in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire 
is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in 
the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and Rim 
Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls 
within one of the specific exclusions set out below.
    Passenger vehicle and light truck tires, whether or not attached 
to wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject 
tire is imported attached to a wheel or rim, only the tire is 
covered by the scope.
    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are 
the following types of tires:
    (1) racing car tires; such tires do not bear the symbol ``DOT'' 
on the sidewall and may be marked with ``ZR'' in size designation;
    (2) new pneumatic tires, of rubber, of a size that is not listed 
in the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and 
Rim Association Year Book;
    (3) pneumatic tires, of rubber, that are not new, including 
recycled and retreaded tires;
    (4) non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires;
    (5) tires designed and marketed exclusively as temporary use 
spare tires for passenger vehicles which, in addition, exhibit each 
of the following physical characteristics:
    (a) the size designation and load index combination molded on 
the tire's sidewall are listed in Table PCT-1B (``T'' Type Spare 
Tires for Temporary Use on Passenger Vehicles) of the Tire and Rim 
Association Year Book,
    (b) the designation ``T'' is molded into the tire's sidewall as 
part of the size designation, and,
    (c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, 
indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by 
Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed is 81 MPH or 
a ``M'' rating;
    (6) tires designed and marketed exclusively for specialty tire 
(ST) use which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical 
characteristics: *
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    \*\ We are currently suspending requirements (6)(d) and (e); 
therefore, tires entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for 
consumption that meet exclusion requirements (6)(a)-(c) above are 
excluded from the scope of this investigation.
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    (a) the size designation molded on the tire's sidewall is listed 
in the ST sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,
    (b) the designation ``ST'' is molded into the tire's sidewall as 
part of the size designation,
    (c) the tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the 
sidewall, that the tire is ``For Trailer Service Only'' or ``For 
Trailer Use Only'',
    (d) the load index molded on the tire's sidewall meets or 
exceeds those load indexes listed in the Tire and Rim Association 
Year Book for the relevant ST tire size, and
    (e) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, 
indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by 
TRA, and the rated speed does not exceed 81 MPH or an ``M'' rating;
    (7) tires designed and marketed exclusively for off-road use and 
which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical 
characteristics:
    (a) the size designation and load index combination molded on 
the tire's sidewall are listed in the off-the-road, agricultural, 
industrial or ATV section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,
    (b) in addition to any size designation markings, the tire 
incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the 
tire is ``Not For Highway Service'' or ``Not for Highway Use'',
    (c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, 
indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by 
the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed does not 
exceed 55 MPH or a ``G'' rating, and
    (d) the tire features a recognizable off-road tread design.
    The products covered by the investigation are currently 
classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the 
United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.10.10.10, 4011.10.10.20, 
4011.10.10.30, 4011.10.10.40, 4011.10.10.50, 4011.10.10.60, 
4011.10.10.70, 4011.10.50.00, 4011.20.10.05, and 4011.20.50.10. 
Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the 
following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.45.10, 4011.99.45.50, 
4011.99.85.10, 4011.99.85.50, 8708.70.45.45, 8708.70.45.60, 
8708.70.60.30, 8708.70.60.45, and 8708.70.60.60. While HTSUS 
subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, 
the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

[FR Doc. 2014-30544 Filed 12-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P



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