Posted on

DOC rules on possible ministerial errors

WASHINGTON—The Department of Commerce (DOC) has ruled on requests from Chinese respondents regarding allegations of possible errors in the final rate calculations. For the majority of the requests, the DOC ruled it had made no error or that the requested topic was not eligible for a review. However they agreed with Layo on a few limited issues, which resulted in a fractional lowering of rates.

As a result, Layo’s AD margin was decreased from 3.98% to 3.97% and the AD margin for the Separate Rate companies was reduced from 3.31% to 3.30%. No other rates have changed.

One primary point of contention was the use of the “targeted dumping” calculation method, which has the same result as what is referred to as “zeroing.” As several WTO rulings have explicitly declared the U.S. government’s practice of “zeroing” to be illegal, Layo and the government of China both alleged an error with respect to the application of the targeted dumping method to certain sales. The DOC responded by stating they would only review issues that might include an “arithmetic mistake, a clerical error involving copying, or a similar unintentional error.“

Several other “methodological” issues were refused review by the DOC as well. These concerned choices made by the DOC regarding surrogate value selection, information sources, or a method of calculation. Layo noted that one such choice led to a calculation of its core plywood value actually being higher than the value for the face veneer. However all such error allegations were declined as the DOC refuses to review methodological points of contention.

The Samling Group and a company on the separate rates list, Xinyuan, also filed requests for corrections that were declined.

This ruling represents the final determination from the DOC, although any of the Chinese companies or importers can appeal this decision to the Court of International Trade (CIT).

Outside of changes resulting from an appeal, the following rates will be used through the fall of 2012 and are potentially subject to review. Any reviewed rates will be applied retroactively back to shipments starting from December of 2011.