[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 241 (Thursday, December 16, 2010)]
[Pages 78678-78679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31643]



International Trade Administration

Proposed Methodology for Respondent Selection in Antidumping 
Proceedings; Request for Comment

AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, 
Department of Commerce.
SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (``the Department'') seeks public 
comment on its proposed methodology for respondent selection and 
related issues.

DATES: To be assured of consideration, comments must be received no 
later than January 18, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Albert Hsu, Senior Economist, Office 
of Policy, Import Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th 
Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 
(202) 482-4491.



    When the number of producers/exporters (``companies'') involved in 
an antidumping investigation or review is so large that the Department 
finds it impracticable to examine each company individually, the 
Department has statutory authority to limit its examination to (1) a 
sample of exporters, producers, or types of products that is 
statistically valid based on the information available to the 
administering authority at the time of selection, or (2) exporters and 
producers accounting for the largest volume of subject merchandise from 
the exporting country that can be reasonably examined (see sections 
777A(c)(2)(A) and (B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (``the 
Act'')). The Department has, to date, used the second option in 
virtually every one of its proceedings. A consequence of this practice 
is that companies under investigation or review with relatively smaller 
import volumes have typically not been selected by the Department for 
individual examination.
    Sampling companies with varying import volumes under section 
777A(c)(2)(A) of the Act is one way to remedy this problem. If the 
Department were to select respondents on the basis of a sample, the 
statute requires that the sample be ``statistically valid.'' The 
Department has interpreted this requirement as referring to the manner 
in which the Department selects respondents and not to the size of the 
sample or precision of the sample results. See Brake Rotors From the 
People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of the 
2004/2005 Administrative Review and Notice of Rescission of 2004/2005 
New Shipper Review 71 FR 66304 (Nov. 14, 2006), and accompanying Issues 
and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1A.
    Therefore, to ensure the statistical validity of the samples, in 
the methodology described below, the Department proposes to employ a 
sampling technique that (1) is random, (2) is stratified, and (3) uses 
probability-proportional-to-size (``PPS'') samples. Random selection 
ensures that every company has a chance of being selected as a 
respondent and captures potential variability across the population. 
Stratification by import volume ensures the participation of companies 
of different import volume in the investigation or review, given the 
small samples that would be used. Finally, PPS samples ensure that the 
probability of each company being chosen as a respondent is 
proportional to its share of imports in its respective stratum.

Proposed Methodology

1.1 When To Sample

    Given the benefits of sampling described above, where possible, the 
Department proposes to use sampling to select respondents rather than 
limiting its examination to companies accounting for the largest import 
volume that can be reasonably examined. However, the Department will, 
in general, forgo sampling under the following circumstances: (1) If, 
due to resource constraints, the Department is unable to examine at 
least three companies, (2) when the largest companies by import volume 
account for at least 75 percent of total imports, or (3) when 
characteristics of the underlying population make it highly likely that 
results obtained from the largest possible sample, given resource 
constraints, would be unreasonable to represent the population.
    To make a determination under (3) above, for a segment of a 
proceeding in which the Department intends to apply sampling for 
respondent selection, the Department proposes to announce a ten-day 
period for interested parties to comment on the existence of 
significant variation in company characteristics that are likely to 
have a substantial effect on the variation in dumping margins of the 
companies in the population in question. The comments can take into 
account sampled company margins from previous segments of the 
proceeding, if such data exist, that may indicate significant variation 
in the individual margins of sampled companies. If the Department 
receives any comment, there will be a five-day rebuttal period before 
the Department announces its decision on the respondent selection 
method for that segment of the proceeding. If the Department does not 
find that selecting respondents through sampling is appropriate for 
that particular segment based on information and comments on the record 
at the time of respondent selection, the Department will choose as 
respondents those companies accounting for the largest import volume 
that can be reasonably examined, in accordance with section 
777A(c)(2)(B) of the Act.

1.2 Definition of Population

    Currently, the Department generally chooses companies for 
individual examination based on import volumes reported in case-
specific Customs and Border Protection (``CBP'') import data. It also 
assigns an antidumping duty rate to all other companies that are not 
selected for individual examination. The Department currently does not 

[[Page 78679]]

any evidence of shipment from a non-selected company before making its 
respondent-selection decision. However, in the sampling context, the 
existence of shipments will be required in order to both define the 
population, and if the company is selected, establish a dumping margin 
for the company. Therefore, the Department will normally use CBP data 
as evidence of shipment, and proposes to define the relevant population 
from which to sample as (1) all companies subject to investigation with 
shipments of subject merchandise, and (2) all companies named in a 
review with shipments of subject merchandise.
    In a non-market economy (``NME'') case, the relevant population 
should not include companies that are a part of the NME entity. Since 
the Department may not be able to determine a company's eligibility for 
a separate rate before respondent selection, the Department proposes to 
exclude from the relevant population companies that have not submitted 
separate rate applications.

1.3 Sampling Technique

    The Department proposes to use stratified PPS samples. The first 
step in the proposed sampling technique is to sort all companies in the 
relevant population from largest to smallest, based on import volumes. 
Second, companies would be segregated into a number of strata equal to 
the sample size, with each stratum accounting for approximately the 
same share of import volume. For example, if the Department determines 
that it may individually examine three respondents, the companies would 
be divided into three strata, each accounting for approximately a third 
of imports. Third, one respondent from each stratum would be selected 
using PPS. If a single company accounts for more than 33 percent or 
more of imports, that company would be assigned its own stratum and the 
remaining companies would be divided into two strata accounting for an 
equal share of the remaining imports. Then, one respondent would be 
selected from each of these strata. If two companies each account for 
more than 33 percent or more of imports, each of the two companies 
would be assigned its own stratum and one respondent would be randomly 
selected from the remaining companies.

1.4 Calculating and Assigning Rates

    After examination of selected respondents by the sampling method, 
the Department will need to assign a rate to all non-selected 
companies. To do so, the Department proposes to calculate a ``sample 
rate,'' which will be an average of all selected respondent rates, 
weighted by the import share of their corresponding strata. In a market 
economy case, all companies in the relevant population who were not 
selected for individual examination would receive the sample rate. 
Consistent with the definition of ``relevant population'' above, in NME 
cases, only companies in the relevant population that qualify for 
separate rates would receive the sample rate; those that do not qualify 
for separate rates would receive the NME country-wide rate.

Request for Comments

    In addition to comments on the methodology described above, the 
Department requests comments on the following issues. First, how should 
the Department address the case in which a selected respondent needs to 
be replaced, due to withdrawal or disqualification for any reason? 
Examples of disqualified respondents include companies in an NME case 
that applied for a separate rate but do not qualify for such a rate, 
and companies with shipment of subject merchandize in CBP data due to 
misclassification. Second, how should the Department treat voluntary 
respondents in the sampling context? Finally, how should the Department 
treat adverse-facts-available, de minimis, and zero antidumping duty 
rates in its calculation of the sample rate?

Submission of Comments

    As specified above, to be assured of consideration, comments must 
be received no later than January 31, 2011. All comments must be 
submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. ITA-2010-0009, unless the commenter 
does not have access to the Internet. Commenters that do not have 
access to the Internet may submit the original and two copies of each 
set of comments by mail or hand delivery/courier. All comments should 
be addressed to the Secretary of Commerce, Attention: Albert Hsu, 
Senior Economist, Office of Policy, Room 1870, Import Administration, 
U.S., Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20230.
    The Department will consider all comments received before the close 
of the comment period. The Department will not accept comments 
accompanied by a request that part or all of the material be treated 
confidentially because of its business proprietary nature or for any 
other reason. All comments responding to this notice will be a matter 
of public record and will be available for inspection at Import 
Administration's Central Records Unit (Room 7046 of the Herbert C. 
Hoover Building) and on the Department's Web site at http://www.trade.gov/ia/.
    Any questions concerning file formatting, document conversion, 
access on the Internet, or other electronic filing issues should be 
addressed to Andrew Lee Beller, Import Administration Webmaster, at 
(202) 482-0866, e-mail address: webmaster-support@ita.doc.gov.

    Dated: December 10, 2010.
Ronald K. Lorentzen,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
[FR Doc. 2010-31643 Filed 12-15-10; 8:45 am]