[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 7 (Monday, January 12, 1998)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1827-1828]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-691]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration
[C-427-810]


Certain Steel Products From France; Notice of Court Decision and 
Suspension of Liquidation

AGENCY: International Trade Administration, Import Administration, 
Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: On December 5, 1997, in Inland Steel Industries, Inc. v. 
United States, Consol. Court No. 93-09-00567-CVD, a lawsuit challenging 
the Department of Commerce's final affirmative countervailing duty 
determination of certain steel products from France, the Court of 
International Trade affirmed the Department's redetermination on 
remand. As a result, the final net subsidy rate for all programs for 
Usinor Sacilor has increased from 15.12% to 15.13% ad valorem, and the 
``country-wide'' rate has increased from 15.12% to 15.13% ad valorem.
    Consistent with the decision of the Court of Appeals for the 
Federal Circuit in Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 
1990), Commerce will direct the Customs Service to change the cash 
deposit rates being used in connection with the suspension of 
liquidation of the subject merchandise once there is a ``conclusive'' 
decision in this case.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 12, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marian Wells, Office 1, Group 1, AD/
CVD Enforcement, Import Administration, International Trade 
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and 
Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington D.C. 20230, telephone: (202) 482-
6309.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background:

    On July 9, 1993, the Department of Commerce (the ``Department'' or 
``Commerce'') published notice of its final affirmative countervailing 
duty determinations of certain steel products from France. Final 
Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determinations; Certain Steel Products 
from France, 58

[[Page 1828]]

FR 37304 (July 9, 1993). In those determinations, the Department set 
forth its finding of a final net subsidy rate of 15.49% ad valorem for 
Usinor Sacilor and 15.49% ad valorem for the ``country-wide'' rate. On 
August 17, 1993, the Department published a countervailing duty order 
correcting ministerial errors and instructing the Customs Service to 
collect cash deposits, at the rate of 15.12% ad valorem for Usinor 
Sacilor and 15.12% ad valorem for the ``country-wide'' rate, on entries 
of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for 
consumption on or after that date. 58 FR 43759.
    Following publication of the Department's countervailing duty 
order, petitioners and respondents filed lawsuits with the Court of 
International Trade (``CIT'') challenging the Department's final 
determination.
    Thereafter, in British Steel plc v. United States, Consol. Ct. No. 
93-09-00550-CVD, which addressed general issues common to various 
certain steel products countervailing duty investigations which 
concurrently had been before the Department, including the French 
investigation, the CIT rejected the Department's reliance on IRS tables 
showing industry-specific average useful life of assets in determining 
an allocation period of 15 years. 879 F. Supp. 1254 (1995). In a 
subsequent remand determination, dated June 30, 1995, the Department 
calculated a company-specific allocation period for Usinor Sacilor 
based on the average useful life of non-renewable physical assets, and 
the CIT affirmed it. 929 F. Supp. 426 (1996).
    More recently, in Inland Steel Industries, Inc. v. United States, 
Consol. Ct. No. 93-09-00567-CVD, the CIT issued Slip Opinion 97-71 and 
an Order, dated June 2, 1997, accepting the Department's request for a 
voluntary remand on one issue. Specifically, during the verification of 
Usinor Sacilor's questionnaire responses, the Department had discovered 
that six Credit National loans included in the 1991 consolidation of 
outstanding Credit National loans were export promotion loans. Although 
in its final concurrence memorandum the Department stated that it would 
determine these loans to be specific, it inadvertently overlooked these 
loans in its final determination and calculations. On July 7, 1997, the 
Department filed its required remand results with the CIT. On December 
5, 1997, the CIT affirmed the Department's remand results. Inland Steel 
Industries, Inc. v. United States, Consol. Court No. 93-09-00567-CVD, 
Slip Op. 97-168.
    As a result of the two remands, the net subsidy rate for all 
programs for Usinor Sacilor has increased from 15.12% to 15.13% ad 
valorem, and the ``country-wide'' rate has increased from 15.12% to 
15.13% ad valorem.

Suspension of Liquidation

    In its decision in Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. 
Cir. 1990) (Timken), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 
(``CAFC'') held that the Department must publish notice of a decision 
of the CIT or the CAFC which is not ``in harmony'' with the 
Department's determination. Publication of this notice fulfills that 
obligation. The CAFC also held that the Department must suspend 
liquidation of the subject merchandise until there is a ``conclusive'' 
decision in the case. Therefore, pursuant to Timken, Commerce must 
suspend liquidation pending the expiration of the period to appeal the 
CIT's December 5, 1997 ruling or, if that ruling is appealed, pending a 
final decision by the CAFC. However, because entries of the subject 
merchandise already are being suspended pursuant to the countervailing 
duty order in effect, the Department need not order the Customs Service 
to suspend liquidation. Further, consistent with Timken, the Department 
will order the Customs Service to change the relevant cash deposit 
rates in the event that the CIT's ruling is not appealed or the CAFC 
issues a final decision affirming the CIT's ruling.

    Dated: January 6, 1998.
Robert S. LaRussa,
Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
[FR Doc. 98-691 Filed 1-9-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P