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Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Cars in China Buses Trucking

Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation

Ronald K. Lorentzen
Department of Commerce
25 February 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 37 (Thursday, February 25, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9434-9440]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-04060]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[A-570-040]


Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: 
Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation

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

DATES: Effective: February 18, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yang Jin Chun or Andre Gziryan, AD/CVD 
Operations Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade 
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5760 and (202) 482-
2201, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

The Petition

    On January 29, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) 
received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of truck 
and bus tires from the People's Republic of China (the PRC) officially 
filed in proper form on behalf of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, 
Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers 
International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC (USW or the petitioner).\1\ The AD 
petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) petition 
concerning imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC. The petitioner 
is a recognized union, which represents the domestic industry engaged 
in the manufacture of truck and bus tires in the United States. On 
February 3, 2016, the Department requested additional information and 
clarification of certain areas of the Petition \2\ and on February

[[Page 9435]]

5, 2016, the petitioner filed supplements to the Petition.\3\
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    \1\ See ``Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on 
Imports of Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China'' 
dated January 29, 2016 (the Petition).
    \2\ See Letters to the petitioner, ``Petition for the Imposition 
of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Truck and Bus 
Tires from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions'' 
dated February 3, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questions) and 
``Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of 
Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China: 
Supplemental Questions'' dated February 3, 2016 (AD Supplemental 
Questions).
    \3\ See Letter from the petitioner ``Petitioner's Response to 
the Department's February 3, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding 
the Antidumping Petition on China (A-570-040)'' dated February 5, 
2016 (AD Supplement); see also ``Petitioner's Response to the 
Department's February 3, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding 
General Issues'' dated February 5, 2016 (General Issues Supplement).
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    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as 
amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of truck and bus 
tires from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United 
States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the 
Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening 
material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent 
with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by 
information reasonably available to the petitioner in support of its 
allegations.
    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the petition on 
behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested 
party as defined in section 771(9)(D) of the Act, and has demonstrated 
sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD 
investigation that it is requesting.\4\
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    \4\ See ``Determination of Industry Support for the Petition'' 
section, below.
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Period of Investigation

    Because the petition was filed on January 29, 2016, the period of 
investigation (POI) is July 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.\5\
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    \5\ See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1).
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Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is truck and bus tires 
from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of the investigation, 
see the ``Scope of the Investigation'' at the Appendix of this notice.

Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the petition, we issued questions to, and 
received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed 
scope in order to ensure that the language of the scope is an accurate 
reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking 
relief.\6\ As discussed in the Preamble to our regulations, we are 
setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding 
product coverage (scope).\7\ The period for scope comments is intended 
to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all 
comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the 
preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual 
information,\8\ all such factual information should be limited to 
public information. All such comments must be filed no later than 5:00 
p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, which is 20 
calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal 
comments, which may include factual information, must be filed no later 
than 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, March 21, 2016, because 10 calendar days 
after the initial comments falls on Saturday, March 19, 2016.\9\ The 
Department requests that any factual information the parties consider 
relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this 
time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional 
factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be 
relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission 
to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed 
on the records of the AD investigation, as well as the concurrent CVD 
investigation.
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    \6\ See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also 
General Issues Supplement at 2 and Exhibit I-SQ-1, and the 
memorandum to the File entitled ``Phone Call with Counsel to the 
Petitioner'' dated February 12, 2016.
    \7\ See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties (Final Rule); 
62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).
    \8\ See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).
    \9\ See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1) (``For both electronically filed 
and manually filed documents, if the applicable due date falls on a 
non-business day, the Secretary will accept documents that are filed 
on the next business day.'')
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Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically 
using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty 
Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically filed 
document must be received successfully in its entirety no later than 
5:00 p.m. ET on the date specified by the Department. Documents 
excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed 
manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/
Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the 
date and time of receipt by the applicable deadline.\10\
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    \10\ See 19 CFR 351.303(b); see also Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; 
Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 
2011), as amended in Enforcement and Compliance: Change of 
Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014), for 
details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which 
went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS 
can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook 
can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.
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Comments on the Product Characteristics for the AD Questionnaire

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding 
the appropriate physical characteristics of truck and bus tires to be 
reported in response to the Department'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 accurately, as well as to develop appropriate product-
comparison criteria.
    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that 
they believe are relevant to the development of an accurate list of 
physical characteristics. Specifically, interested parties may provide 
comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) 
General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. It 
is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as 
product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on 
meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, while 
there may be some physical product characteristics manufacturers used 
to describe truck and bus tires, it may be that only a select few 
product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful 
physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment 
on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in 
matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most 
important physical characteristics first and the least important 
characteristics last.
    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in 
developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, we must receive comments 
on product characteristics no later than March 9, 2016. Rebuttal 
comments must be received no later than March 16, 2016. All comments 
and submissions to the

[[Page 9436]]

Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained 
above.

Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on 
behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act 
provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic 
producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 
25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and 
(ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like 
product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support 
for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of 
the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of 
domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of 
the total production of the domestic like product, the Department 
shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to 
determine if there is support for the petition, as required by 
subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a 
statistically valid sampling method to poll the ``industry.''
    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the ``industry'' as the 
producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine 
whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute 
directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the 
domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which 
is responsible for determining whether ``the domestic industry'' has 
been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like 
product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and 
the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic 
like product,\11\ they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a 
separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's 
determination is subject to limitations of time and information. 
Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, 
such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary 
to law.\12\
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    \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)).
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    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as ``a 
product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in 
characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation 
under this title.'' Thus, the reference point from which the domestic 
like product analysis begins is ``the article subject to an 
investigation'' (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be 
investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the 
Petition).
    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not 
offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope 
of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information 
submitted on the record, we have determined that truck and bus tires 
constitute a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry 
support in terms of that domestic like product.\13\
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    \13\ For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in 
this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: 
Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China (AD 
Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry 
Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions 
Covering Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China 
(Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this 
notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents 
filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room 
B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.
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    In determining whether 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 of 
this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner estimated 
the 2015 production for each U.S. producer of truck and bus tires, by 
plant. The petitioner based its estimates of 2015 off truck and bus 
tire production by plant on daily plant-specific production capacity 
data published in Modern Tire Dealer. The petitioner multiplied the 
daily production capacity data by 360 (to estimate annual capacity). 
The petitioner estimated 2015 truck and bus tire production in the 
United States using data on U.S. shipments, imports, and exports of 
truck and bus tires in 2015. To calculate a capacity utilization rate 
for the U.S. truck and bus tire industry in 2015, the petitioner 
compared estimated U.S. production of truck and bus tires in 2015 to 
the 2015 U.S. capacity to produce truck and bus tires. To calculate 
total 2015 production of the domestic like product by the petitioning 
plants, the petitioner applied the estimated capacity utilization rate 
to the total annualized capacity of those plants represented by the 
USW. In order to provide a conservative calculation of total 2015 
production of the domestic like product by the U.S. truck and bus tire 
industry, the petitioner assumed that all non-petitioning truck and bus 
tire plants (i.e., those not represented by the USW) operated at full 
capacity in 2015 and added the full production capacity of the non-
petitioning plants to the estimated 2015 production of the plants 
represented by the USW. To calculate industry support, the petitioner 
divided the estimated 2015 production of the domestic like product for 
those plants represented by the USW by the estimated production of the 
domestic like product in 2015 for the entire U.S. truck and bus tires 
industry.\14\ We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of 
measuring industry support.\15\
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    \14\ See Volume I of the Petition, at I-6--I-8 and Exhibits I-1 
and I-11; see also General Issues Supplement, at 2-9 and Exhibits I-
SQ-2--I-SQ-18.
    \15\ Id. For further discussion, see AD Initiation Checklist, at 
Attachment II.
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    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues 
Supplement, and other information readily available to the Department 
indicates that the petitioner has established industry support.\16\ 
First, the Petition established support from workers accounting for 
more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like 
product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further 
action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).\17\ 
Second, the workers have met the statutory criteria for industry 
support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the workers 
who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total 
production of the domestic like product.\18\ Finally, the workers have 
met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 
732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the 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.\19\ 
Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on 
behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) 
of the Act.
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    \16\ See AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \17\ See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also AD Initiation 
Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \18\ See AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.
    \19\ Id.
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    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on 
behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as 
defined in section 771(9)(D) of the Act and it has demonstrated 
sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that 
it is requesting the Department initiate.\20\
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    \20\ Id.

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[[Page 9437]]

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 less than normal value (NV). In addition, the 
petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility 
threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.\21\
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    \21\ See Volume I of the Petition, at I-15 and Exhibit I-17.
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    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is 
illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price depression 
or suppression; decline in shipments; shift in the domestic industry's 
sales from the U.S. market to lower priced export markets; potential 
declines in capacity utilization, employment, and profitability; lost 
sales and revenues; and adverse impact on union contract 
negotiations.\22\ We assessed the allegations and supporting evidence 
regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, 
and we determined that these allegations are properly supported by 
adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for 
initiation.\23\
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    \22\ See Volume I of the Petition, at I-12, I-15 through I-32 
and Exhibits I-2, I-10, I-17 through I-30.
    \23\ See AD Initiation Checklist at Attachment III, Analysis of 
Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Truck and Bus 
Tires from the People's Republic of China.
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Allegation of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less 
than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to 
initiate an investigation of imports of truck and bus tires from the 
PRC. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to 
U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the AD Initiation 
Checklist.

Export Price

    The petitioner based export price (EP) on import data obtained from 
the U.S. Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Division Merchandise 
Imports database and the ITC Dataweb (collectively import database) for 
truck and bus tires. The petitioner calculated the average unit values 
(AUVs) per tire for U.S. imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC 
entered during the POI under two Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the 
United States (HTSUS) subheadings that cover truck and bus tires.\24\ 
As the values of imports in the import database reflect customs values 
and therefore exclude U.S. import duties, freight, and insurance, the 
petitioner made adjustments to deduct unrebated value-added tax, 
foreign inland freight expenses, and brokerage and handling expenses at 
port of exportation to derive a U.S. net price.\25\
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    \24\ See the AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-2 for the two HTSUS 
subheadings, 4011.20.1015: New Radial Tires, On-The-Highway, Of A 
Kind Used On Buses Or Trucks, Excluding Light Trucks, and 
4011.20.5020: New Tires, Excluding Radials, On-The-Highway, Of A 
Kind Used On Buses Or Trucks, Excluding Light Trucks.
    \25\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-6 through II-9 and 
Exhibits II-13 and II-14; AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-8; and AD 
Initiation Checklist.
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Normal Value

    The petitioner states that the Department has treated the PRC as a 
non-market economy (NME) country in every proceeding in which the PRC 
has been involved.\26\ The presumption of NME status for the PRC has 
not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, in accordance with 
section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, remains in effect for purposes of the 
initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, the NV of the product 
for the investigation is appropriately based on factors of production 
(FOPs) valued in a surrogate market-economy country in accordance with 
section 773(c) of the Act. In the course of this investigation, all 
parties will have the opportunity to provide relevant information 
related to the issues of the PRC's NME status and granting of separate 
rates to individual exporters.
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    \26\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-2.
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    The petitioner contends that Thailand is the appropriate surrogate 
country for the PRC because: (1) It is at a level of economic 
development comparable to that of the PRC; (2) it is a significant 
producer of comparable merchandise; and (3) the data for Thailand for 
valuing factors of production are available and reliable.\27\ Based on 
the information the petitioner provided, we conclude that it is 
appropriate to use Thailand as a surrogate country for initiation 
purposes.\28\ After initiation of this investigation, interested 
parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding 
surrogate country selection and will be provided an opportunity to 
submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days 
before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.\29\
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    \27\ Id. at II-2 through II-6 and Exhibits II-1 through II-4; AD 
Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-1.
    \28\ See AD Initiation Checklist.
    \29\ See 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i).
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    The petitioner calculated NV using the Department's NME methodology 
as required by 19 CFR 351.202(b)(7)(i)(C) and 19 CFR 351.408. As the 
petitioner is a union representing workers in the domestic industry 
producing truck and bus tires and is not a domestic producer, the 
petitioner contends it does not have access to the proprietary 
information on the FOPs necessary to make truck and bus tires. 
Therefore, the petitioner based NV on publicly available information 
regarding the standard direct materials used to manufacture truck and 
bus tires from a number of publications.\30\ The petitioner asserts 
that the publicly available raw material models it provided are 
representative, to the best of its knowledge, of the average makeup of 
truck and bus tires.\31\ Using this information, the petitioner 
calculated the average percentage of total tire weight represented by 
direct materials for truck and bus tires. The information regarding the 
percentages of direct materials used to make a subject tire were 
applied to the average tire weight for each of the two HTSUS categories 
of truck and bus tires obtained from the imports database to calculate 
the average amount of each direct material used in the manufacture of 
the subject merchandise.\32\
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    \30\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-9 through II-15 and 
Exhibits II-5, II-9, II-10, II-16, II-19 through II-24, II-28; see 
also AD Supplement at Exhibits II-SQ-3 and II-SQ-8.
    \31\ Id.
    \32\ Id.
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    The petitioner valued the FOPs for direct materials (except natural 
rubber) using reasonably available, public surrogate country data, 
specifically, Thai import data from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) for 
the period July through December 2015.\33\ The petitioner excluded from 
these GTA import statistics imports from countries previously 
determined by the Department to be NME countries, countries previously 
determined by the Department to maintain broadly available, non-
industry-specific export subsidies, and, in accordance with the 
Department's practice, any imports that were labeled as originating 
from an ``unspecified'' country.\34\ The petitioner valued natural 
rubber using information from the Rubber Research Institute of 
Thailand.\35\ The Department determines that the surrogate values used 
by the petitioner are reasonably available and,

[[Page 9438]]

thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation.
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    \33\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-10 through II-16; see 
also AD Supplement at 3 and Exhibits II-SQ-3 and II-SQ-8.
    \34\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-13; see also AD 
Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-3.
    \35\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-14 and Exhibit II-29; 
see also AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-8.
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    The petitioner calculated the average labor hours required to make 
one tire using the employment and production information from the 
financial statements of three PRC tire manufacturers (GITI Tire, 
Doublestar Tyre, and Guizhou Tyre Co., Ltd.).\36\ The petitioner then 
used the weight-averaged amount of the three labor rates to determine 
an overall average of labor hours required to make one subject tire. 
The petitioner calculated the average hourly labor rate for an employee 
producing tires using the wage rate for manufacturers in Thai National 
Statistics Office's Labor Force Survey for the third quarter of 
2015.\37\
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    \36\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-16 through II-18 and 
Exhibits II-30 through II-33; see also AD Supplement at 3-6 and 
Exhibit II-SQ-5 and II-SQ-6.
    \37\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-16 through II-18 and 
Exhibits II-30 through II-33; see also AD Supplement at 3-6 and 
Exhibits II-SQ-5 and II-SQ-6.
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    The petitioner calculated financial ratios (i.e., factory overhead 
expenses, selling, general, and administrative expenses, and profit) 
based on the 2014 year-end financial statements of Goodyear (Thailand) 
Public Company Limited and the 2013 year-end financial statements of 
Hihero Co., Ltd.\38\ The petitioner included the energy costs in the 
factory overhead expenses because it was unable to obtain publicly 
available information on the energy costs.\39\ Information the 
petitioner provided indicate that both Thai companies are producers of 
truck and bus tires.\40\
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    \38\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-19 and II--20 and 
Exhibits II-34 and II-36; see also AD Supplement at 6.
    \39\ See Volume II of the Petition at II-19.
    \40\ Id. at II-15 and II-16 and Exhibit II-16.
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Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data the petitioner provided, there is reason to 
believe that imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC are being, or 
are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. 
Based on the comparison of net U.S. price to NV for the same or similar 
truck and bus tires in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the 
petitioner's estimated margins for truck and bus tires are 19.91 
percent and 22.57 percent.\41\
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    \41\ See AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-8.
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Initiation of Less Than Fair Value Investigation

    Based on our examination of the petition on truck and bus tires 
from the PRC, the Department finds that the petition meets the 
requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an 
AD investigation to determine whether imports of truck and bus tires 
from the PRC are being, or likely to be, sold in the United States at 
less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the 
Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our 
preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this 
initiation. For a discussion of evidence supporting our initiation 
determination, see the AD Initiation Checklist dated concurrently with 
this notice.
    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into 
law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which made numerous 
amendments to the AD and CVD law.\42\ The 2015 law does not specify 
dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the 
Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the 
applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for 
amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to 
determinations of material injury by the ITC.\43\ The amendments to 
sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all 
determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply 
to this AD investigation.\44\
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    \42\ See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 
114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).
    \43\ See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping 
and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension 
Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015).
    \44\ Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at 
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.
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Respondent Selection

    In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection 
in AD investigations involving NME countries, we intend to issue 
quantity and value questionnaires to producers/exporters of merchandise 
subject to this investigation \45\ and base respondent selection on the 
responses received. In addition, the Department will post the quantity 
and value questionnaire along with the filing instructions on the 
Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.
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    \45\ See Volume I of the Petition at Exhibit I-15, as amended in 
General Supplement Response at Exhibit I-SQ-19.
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    Exporters and producers of truck and bus tires from the PRC that do 
not receive quantity and value questionnaires via mail may still submit 
a response to the quantity and value questionnaire available at the 
Enforcement and Compliance Web site. The Department will establish an 
exact deadline by which quantity and value responses must be submitted 
in the questionnaire itself, as subsequently released to potential 
respondents and posted to the Enforcement and Compliance Web site. All 
quantity and value responses must be filed electronically using ACCESS.

Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate rate status in an NME AD investigation, 
exporters and producers must submit a separate rate application.\46\ 
The specific requirements for submitting the separate rate application 
in this PRC investigation are outlined in detail in the application 
itself, which will be available on the Department's Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp on the date of publication of this 
initiation notice in the Federal Register. The separate rate 
application will be due 30 days after the publication of this 
initiation notice. Exporters and producers who submit a separate rate 
application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be 
eligible for consideration for separate rate status only if they 
respond to all parts of the Department's AD questionnaires as mandatory 
respondents. The Department requires that respondents submit a response 
to both the quantity and value questionnaire and the separate rate 
application by their respective deadlines in order to receive 
consideration for separate rate status.
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    \46\ See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and 
Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation 
involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005) (Separate 
Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin), available on the Department's 
Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/).
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Use of Combination Rates

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

{w{time} hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates 
only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now 
assign in its NME investigations 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

[[Page 9439]]

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.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ See Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin 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 petition, which is publicly available in its 
entirety, has been provided to the Government of the PRC via ACCESS. To 
the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the 
Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 
CFR 351.203(c)(2).

ITC Notification

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

Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date 
on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable 
indication that imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC are 
materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. 
industry.\48\ A negative ITC determination will result in the 
investigation being terminated.\49\ Otherwise, this investigation will 
proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ See section 733(a) of the Act.
    \49\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) 
Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence 
submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available 
information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the 
adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence 
placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than 
factual information described in (i)-(iv). Any party, when submitting 
factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 
351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted \50\ 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.\51\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b).
    \51\ See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Extension of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the 
expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR part 351, or as 
otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request 
will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the 
time limit established under 19 CFR part 351 expires. For submissions 
that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request 
will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the 
due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a 
different time limit by which extension requests will be considered 
untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties 
simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or 
memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by 
which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An 
extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; 
under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for 
the extension of time limits.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ See 19 FR 351.302(c). See also Extension of Time Limits; 
Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to 
submitting factual information in this investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding 
must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.\53\ 
Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are 
in effect for company/government officials as well as their 
representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions 
filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD 
proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the 
formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final 
Rule.\54\ The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the 
submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised 
certification requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ See section 782(b) of the Act.
    \54\ See 19 CFR 351.303(g). See also Certification of Factual 
Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final 
Rule); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final 
Rule, available at the following: http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under 
administrative protective order (APO) in accordance with 19 CFR 
351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO 
Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to 
participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the 
requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of 
appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).
    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of 
the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: February 18, 2016.
Ronald K. Lorentzen,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

Appendix

Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers truck and bus tires. Truck 
and bus tires are new pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a truck or 
bus size designation. Truck and bus tires covered by this 
investigation may be tube-type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial.
    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 one of the following suffixes in their tire size designation, 
which also appear on the sidewall of the tire:
    TR--Identifies tires for service on trucks or buses to 
differentiate them from similarly sized passenger car and light 
truck tires;
    MH--Identifies tires for mobile homes; and
    HC--Identifies a 17.5 inch rim diameter code for use on low 
platform trailers.
    All tires with a ``TR,'' ``MH,'' or ``HC'' suffix in their size 
designations are covered by this investigation regardless of their 
intended use.
    In addition, all tires that lack one of the above suffix 
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 ``Truck-Bus'' 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.
    Truck and bus tires, whether or not mounted on wheels or rims, 
are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported 
mounted on a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope. 
Subject merchandise includes truck and bus tires produced in the 
subject country whether mounted on wheels or rims in the subject 
country or in a third country. Truck and bus tires are covered 
whether or not they are

[[Page 9440]]

accompanied by other parts, e.g., a wheel, rim, axle parts, bolts, 
nuts, etc. Truck and bus tires that enter attached to a vehicle are 
not covered by the scope.
    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are 
the following types of tires: (1) Pneumatic tires, of rubber, that 
are not new, including recycled and retreaded tires; and (2) non-
pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires.
    The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under 
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 
4011.20.1015 and 4011.20.5020. Tires meeting the scope description 
may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.4520, 
4011.99.4590, 4011.99.8520, 4011.99.8590, 8708.70.4530, 
8708.70.6030, and 8708.70.6060. While HTSUS subheadings are provided 
for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of 
the subject merchandise is dispositive.

[FR Doc. 2016-04060 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P



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