[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 151 (Tuesday, August 5, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45475-45476]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-17884]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

[TA-W-62,853]


Irving Forest Products, Nashville Plantation, Maine; Notice of 
Negative Determination Regarding Application for Reconsideration

    By application dated July 12, 2008, the United Steel Workers, Local 
4-1310 (the Union) requested administrative reconsideration of the 
Department's negative determination regarding eligibility to apply for 
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment 
Assistance (ATAA) applicable to workers and former workers of Irving 
Forest Products, Nashville Plantation, Maine (the subject firm). The 
determination was signed on May 30, 2008. The Department's Notice of 
determination was published in the Federal Register on June 16, 2008 
(73 FR 34044). The workers produce lumber and woodchips, and are not 
separately identifiable by product line.
    The denial was based on the Department's findings that the subject 
firm did not import lumber or woodchips and did not shift production of 
lumber or woodchips to a foreign country during the relevant period.
    A survey of the subject firm's major declining customers regarding 
their purchases of lumber and woodchips revealed that most customers 
decreased imports during the relevant period and that any imports did 
not contribute importantly to subject firm sales and production 
declines.
    Aggregate U.S. imports of coniferous lumber declined in 2007 
compared with 2006, and continued to decline in January 2008 compared 
with the corresponding 2007 period. Aggregate U.S. imports of both 
coniferous and non-coniferous wood in chips or particles declined in 
2007 compared with 2006, and declined in January through February 2008 
over the corresponding 2007 period.
    Pursuant to 29 CFR 90.18(c), reconsideration may be granted under 
the following circumstances:
    (1) If it appears on the basis of facts not previously considered 
that the determination complained of was erroneous;
    (2) If it appears that the determination complained of was based on 
a mistake in the determination of facts not previously considered; or
    (3) If in the opinion of the Certifying Officer, a mis-
interpretation of facts or of the law justified reconsideration of the 
decision.
    In the request for reconsideration, the Union asserts the following 
three points:
    (1) With regards to the TAA group eligibility requirements for 
directly-impacted workers, ``the reasons for denial are unfair as it 
relates to choosing 1 area from each section when only the criteria 
from one section needs to be met'';
    (2) ``We feel it is inaccurate to first look at the entire United 
States aggregate imports of coniferous lumber'' because in order ``for 
the Trade Act to protect the workers that it is intended to protect it 
should be pliable in its review as it relates to specific regions'' and 
that the Department's review should consider that ``trade may only have 
slowed over the past 12 months due to high transportation costs as well 
as equalizing the value of the dollar while discounting the impact 
trade has had leading up to the devastation of the lumber industry all 
along the eastern seaboard''; and
    (3) The Department failed to receive information from the subject 
firm regarding ``the possible shift or planned shift in production from 
its Nashville Plantation, Maine mill to its other facilities''.
    In order to apply for TAA, petitioners must satisfy the group 
eligibility requirements for directly-impacted (primary) workers under 
Section 222(a) the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. The group eligibility 
requirements can be satisfied in one of two ways, either Section 
(a)(2)(A) or Section (a)(2)(B).
    In order to satisfy Section (a)(2)(A), all of the following 
criteria must be met:
    A. A significant number or proportion of the workers in such 
workers' firm, or an appropriate subdivision of the firm, have become 
totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or 
partially separated; and
    B. The sales or production, or both, of such firm or subdivision 
have decreased absolutely; and
    C. Increased imports of articles like or directly competitive with 
articles produced by such firm or subdivision have contributed 
importantly to such workers' separation or threat of separation and to 
the decline in sales or production of such firm or subdivision.
    In order to satisfy Section (a)(2)(B), all of the following 
criteria must be met:
    A. A significant number or proportion of the workers in such 
workers' firm, or an appropriate subdivision of the firm, have become 
totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or 
partially separated; and
    B. There has been a shift in production by such workers' firm or 
subdivision to a foreign country of articles like or directly 
competitive with

[[Page 45476]]

articles which are produced by such firm or subdivision; and
    C. One of the following must be satisfied:
    1. The country to which the workers' firm has shifted production of 
the articles is a party to a free trade agreement with the United 
States; or
    2. The country to which the workers' firm has shifted production of 
the articles is a beneficiary country under the Andean Trade Preference 
Act, African Growth and Opportunity Act, or the Caribbean Basin 
Economic Recovery Act; or
    3. There has been or is likely to be an increase in imports of 
articles that are like or directly competitive with articles which are 
or were produced by such firm or subdivision.
    The Union appears to assert that because the Department identified 
in the negative determination two criteria that were not met, the 
Department requires that, in order for a worker group to be certified 
for TAA, both of the aforementioned sections must be met.
    In determining whether a worker group has met the criteria set 
forth in the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, the Department investigates 
whether the worker group has met the criteria of either Section 
(a)(2)(A) or Section (a)(2)(B), not both. If the criteria of either 
Section are met, the Department will certify the worker group as 
eligible to apply for TAA.
    The Union asserts that it is unfair that the Department considers 
only ``United Stated aggregate imports'' because to do so would 
discount the disproportionate impact that imports have on a specific 
region, such as the Eastern Seaboard.
    Section (a)(2)(A)(C) requires that there be a finding of increased 
imports. 29 CFR section 90.2 states that ``increased imports means that 
imports have increased either absolutely or relatively to domestic 
production compared to a representative bade period.'' As asserted by 
the Union, imports did not increase in 2007 compared to 2006. Absent a 
finding of increased imports, the Department cannot determine whether 
or not increased imports contributed importantly to subject firm sales 
and/or production declines and worker separations.
    Section (a)(2)(B)(B) requires that there ``has been'' a shift of 
production. That the requirement is in the past tense means that the 
shift is an event in the past and not in the future. Therefore, the 
subject firm's ``possible shift or planned shift'' (if any) would not 
have been a basis for TAA certification.
    After careful review of the request for reconsideration, the 
Department determines that 29 CFR 90.18(c) has not been met.

Conclusion

    After review of the application and investigative findings, I 
conclude that there has been no error or misinterpretation of the law 
or of the facts which would justify reconsideration of the Department 
of Labor's prior decision. Accordingly, the application is denied.

    Signed in Washington, DC, this 28th day of July 2008.
Elliott S. Kushner,
Certifying Officer, Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance.
[FR Doc. E8-17884 Filed 8-4-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P