69 FR 52862, August 30, 2004

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

(C-549-824)

Preliminary Negative Countervailing Duty Determination and 
Alignment with Final Antidumping Duty Determination: Bottle-Grade 
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Resin From Thailand

AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, 
Department of Commerce.
SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily 
determines that countervailable subsidies are not being provided to 
producers and exporters of Bottle-Grade (BG) Polyethylene Terephthalate 
(PET) Resin from Thailand. For information on the estimated subsidy 
rates, see the ``Preliminary Determination'' section of this notice.

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 30, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Gilgunn or Dara Iserson, Office 
of AD/CVD Enforcement VI, Import Administration, U.S. Department of 
Commerce, Room 7866, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, 
Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4236 and (202) 482-4052 
respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Case History

    The petition in this investigation was filed on March 24, 2004, by 
the United States PET Resin Coalition (petitioners). This investigation 
was initiated on April 14, 2004. See Notice of Initiation of 
Countervailing Duty Investigation: Bottle-Grade Polyethylene 
Terephthalate (PET Resin from India and Thailand (C-533-842) and (C-
549-824), 69 FR 21086 (April 20, 2004). On April 28, 2004, we issued a 
questionnaire to the Royal Thai Government (RTG) and requested that the 
RTG forward the relevant sections of the questionnaire to Thai 
producers/exporters of BG PET Resin.
    On May 21, 2004, petitioners timely requested a 65-day postponement 
of the preliminary determination for this investigation until August 
21, 2004. On June 3, 2004, the Department extended the deadline for the 
preliminary determination by 67 days to August 23, 2004, since August 
21, 2004 falls on a Saturday, in accordance with section 703(c)(1)(A) 
of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). See Postponement of 
Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determinations: Bottle-Grade 
Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from India and Thailand, 69 FR 31354 
(June 3, 2004).
    On June 14, 2004, the RTG submitted its questionnaire response. The 
RTG identified three Thai companies that produced and exported BG PET 
Resin to the United States during the period of investigation, and 
indicated which programs had been used by these companies. These three 
companies are Thai Shinkong Industry Corporation Limited (Thai 
Shinkong), Bangkok Polyester Public Company Limited (Bangkok 
Polyester), and Indopet (Thailand) Limited (Indopet) (herein after 
``respondent companies''). These three companies submitted responses on 
June 14, 2004.
    On July 8, 2004, the Department issued supplemental questionnaires 
to the RTG and the three respondent companies. Thai Shinkong and 
Bangkok Polyester filed their respective supplemental responses on July 
26, 2004. Indopet submitted its supplemental response on July 28, 2004. 
On July 29, 2004, we received the RTG's supplemental response.
    On August 2, 2004, petitioners filed deficiency comments for Thai 
Shinkong's and the RTG's responses. We received deficiency comments for 
Bangkok Polyester's responses on August 3, 2004 and for Indopet's 
questionnaire responses on August 5, 2004.
    On August 5, 2004, we issued a second supplemental questionnaire to 
Thai Shinkong. On August 6, 2004, we issued a second supplemental 
questionnaire to the RTG. Additionally, on August 9, 2004, and August 
10, 2004, we issued second supplemental questionnaires to Bangkok 
Polyester and Indopet, respectively.
    On August 16, 2004, we received a response from Thai Shinkong. We 
received a response from Indopet on August 17, 2004. Additionally, on 
August 18, 2004, and on
    August 19, 2004, we received responses from the RTG and Bangkok 
Polyester, respectively.

Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is BG PET Resin, 
defined as having an intrinsic viscosity of at least 0.68 deciliters 
per gram but not more than 0.86 deciliters per gram. The scope includes 
BG PET Resin that contains various additives introduced in the 
manufacturing process. The scope does not include post-consumer recycle 
(PCR) or post-industrial recycle (PIR) PET resin; however, included in 
the scope is any BG PET Resin blend of virgin PET bottle-grade resin 
and recycled PET (RPET). Waste and scrap PET is outside the scope of 
the investigation. Fiber-grade PET resin, which has an intrinsic 
viscosity of less than 0.68 deciliters per gram, is also outside the 
scope of the investigations. The merchandise subject to these 
investigations is properly classified under subheading 3907.60.0010 of 
the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS); however, 
merchandise classified under HTSUS subheading 3907.60.0050 that 
otherwise meets the written description of the scope is also subject to 
these investigations. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for 
convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the 
merchandise under investigation is dispositive.

[[Page 52863]]

Injury Test

    Because Thailand is a ``Subsidies Agreement Country'' within the 
meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, the International Trade 
Commission (ITC) is required to determine whether imports of the 
subject merchandise from Thailand materially injure, or threaten 
material injury to, a U.S. industry. On May 19, 2004, the ITC published 
its preliminary determination that there is a reasonable indication 
that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason 
of imports from India, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand of subject 
merchandise. See Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Resin From India, 
Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand, 69 FR 28948.

Alignment With Final Antidumping Duty Determinations

    On July 30, 2004, petitioners submitted a letter requesting 
alignment of the final determination in this investigation with the 
final determination in the companion antidumping duty investigation. 
Therefore, in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act, we are 
aligning the final determination in this investigation with the final 
determinations in the antidumping duty investigations of BG PET Resin 
from India, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

Period of Investigation

    The period of investigation (POI) for which we are measuring 
subsidies is January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2003, which 
corresponds to the most recently completed fiscal year for the 
respondent companies. See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2).

Subsidies Valuation Information

Discount Rates

    Thai Shinkong, Bangkok Polyester, and Indopet received exemptions 
from import duties on the importation of capital equipment (under 
Section 28 of the Investment Promotion Act of 1977 (IPA)), which we 
have preliminarily determined to be non-recurring benefits in 
accordance with 19 CFR 351.524(c). For a discussion of our decision to 
treat these duty exemptions as non-recurring subsidies, see ``Duty 
Exemptions on Imports of Machinery Under IPA Section 28'' below. All 
three respondent companies received IPA Section 28 exemptions, 
collectively in the years 1995 through 2003. Section 351.524(d)(3) of 
the Department's regulations directs us regarding the selection of a 
discount rate for the purposes of allocating non-recurring benefits 
over time. The regulations provide several options in order of 
preference. The first among these is the cost of long-term fixed-rate 
loans of the firm in question, excluding any loans which have been 
determined to be countervailable, for each year in which non-recurring 
subsidies have been received. None of the respondent companies have 
provided an annual average cost of long-term fixed-rate baht-
denominated loans. Therefore, in accordance with 19 CFR 
351.505(a)(3)(ii), we are using national average interest rates. For 
the years 1997 through 2000, we are using information published by the 
Bank of Thailand and provided by the RTG. This interest rate 
information is reported monthly for the years specified; we have 
calculated simple averages of the monthly data to obtain an annual 
average. The RTG did not provide information for the years 1995, 1996, 
and 2001 through 2003; therefore, we are using the annual average long-
term interest rate information from the International Monetary Fund's 
publication International Financial Statistics for those years.

Allocation Period

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.524(b), non-recurring subsidies are 
allocated over a period corresponding to the average useful life (AUL) 
of the renewable physical assets used to produce the subject 
merchandise. The regulatory provision at 19 CFR 351.524(d)(2) creates a 
rebuttable presumption that the AUL will be taken from the U.S. 
Internal Revenue Service's 1977 Class Life Asset Depreciation Range 
System (the IRS Tables). For assets used to manufacture products such 
as BG PET Resin, the IRS Tables prescribe an AUL of 10 years. Only 
Indopet disputes this allocation period. However, Indopet did not 
provide the data to demonstrate that its proposed alternative company-
specific AUL was calculated in accordance with the requirements of 19 
CFR 351.524(d)(2)(iii). Therefore, we have used the 10-year allocation 
period for all respondent companies.

Denominator

    When selecting an appropriate denominator for use in calculating 
the ad valorem countervailable subsidy rate, the Department considered 
the basis for the respondent companies' approval for benefits under the 
Investment Promotion Act of 1977 (IPA). The benefits approved for all 
three respondent companies were tied to their production of BG PET 
Resin, the merchandise subject to this investigation. Therefore, BG PET 
Resin is the companies' ``promoted'' business, and we find that the 
benefits are tied to sales of subject merchandise in accordance with 19 
CFR 351.525 of the Department's regulations. Thus, the appropriate 
denominator would be sales of BG PET Resin. However, two of the 
companies were approved for IPA benefits contingent upon specific 
exportation requirements, rendering their subsidies export subsidies 
(see ``Investment Incentives Under the Investment Promotion Act (IPA)'' 
in the ``Programs Preliminarily Determined to be Countervailable'' 
section, below). Thus, for Thai Shinkong and Bangkok Polyester, the 
appropriate denominator for calculating the ad valorem countervailable 
subsidy rate is total exports of subject merchandise. See 19 CFR 
351.525.

Cross-Ownership and Attribution of Subsidies

    Based on business proprietary information on the record, there may 
be a potential cross-ownership issue with respect to one of the 
respondent companies. For purposes of this preliminary determination, 
we do not have enough information in the record to analyze this issue. 
We will continue to gather information in order to fully analyze this 
issue for the purposes of the final determination.

Programs Preliminarily Determined To Be Countervailable

Investment Incentives Under the Investment Promotion Act (IPA)

    According to the questionnaire responses, the IPA is administered 
by the Board of Investment (BOI) and is designed to provide incentives 
to invest in Thailand. In order to receive IPA benefits, each company 
must apply to the BOI for a Certificate of Promotion, which specifies 
goods to be produced, any specific conditions concerning production and 
sales, and benefits approved. These certificates are granted at the 
discretion of the BOI and are periodically amended or reissued to 
change or extend benefits or requirements. The approval of the 
application by the BOI confers ``promoted'' status on the recipient. 
Once granted ``promoted'' status, a company may receive IPA benefits 
including import duty exemptions, income tax exemptions, and other tax 
benefits under various sections of the IPA. Each IPA benefit for which 
a company is eligible must be specifically stated in the Certificate.
    All three respondent companies applied for and received 
``promoted'' company status. Their Certificates indicate the specific 
sections of the IPA

[[Page 52864]]

under which they are eligible for benefits. We initiated an 
investigation of sections 28, 30, 31, 35 and 36 of the IPA.
    When determining whether a program is countervailable, we must 
examine whether it is an import substitution or export subsidy, whether 
it provides benefits to a specific enterprise, industry, or group 
thereof, either in law (de jure specificity) or in fact (de facto 
specificity) or whether it is regionally specific. See section 771(5A) 
of the Act. Under section 771(5A)(B) of the Act, a subsidy is an export 
subsidy if it is ``in law or in fact contingent upon export performance 
alone or as 1 of 2 or more conditions.''
    There is no element of the IPA explicitly limiting eligibility for 
IPA program benefits to an enterprise, industry, or group thereof. The 
legislation of the IPA does not mandate export of the products covered 
by a certificate, however, some specific sections of the IPA contain 
express export requirements. Chapter 2 of the 1991 IPA law governs the 
procedures for granting ``promoted'' status to applicants. ``Promoted'' 
status is required in order for a company to take advantage of any 
programs offered under the IPA, including those programs that carry an 
export commitment. Chapter 2 of the 1991 IPA includes exportation as 
one of the criteria to be considered in granting ``promoted'' status to 
a company. In addition, in 1993 the BOI issued BOI Announcement 1/1993, 
``Policies and Criteria for Investment Promotion,'' to update the 
standards for granting ``promoted'' status. The update contained a 
section requiring a commitment to export at least 50 percent of the 
manufactured product where the majority of a company's shares is held 
by foreign investors. Chapter 2 of the 1991 IPA and BOI Announcement 1/
1993, updating the policies and criteria, were in effect when the 
responding companies applied for and received ``promoted company'' 
status.
    Because the IPA does not generally require an export commitment, we 
have not found it to be an export subsidy per se. However, an applicant 
may take on an export commitment as a basis for receiving ``promoted'' 
status. Therefore, it was necessary to analyze the application and 
approval experiences of the individual companies to determine if, in 
law or in fact, the granting of ``promoted'' status was contingent on 
export performance. If receipt of IPA program benefits was contingent 
upon export performance then all of the benefits the company receives 
under the IPA constitute export subsidies within the meaning of section 
771(5A)(B) of the Act. Compare Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty 
Determination: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from South Africa, 64 FR 
15553, 15556 (March 3, 1999).
    Thai Shinkong's application for ``promoted'' status indicates that 
it is a company with majority foreign ownership. In accordance with 
Announcement 1/1993, Thai Shinkong's application also indicated that 
Thai Shinkong intended to export a substantial portion of its BG PET 
Resin production. Although Thai Shinkong's Promotion Certificate does 
not include a stipulation to export, we note that Announcement 1/1993 
mandates an export requirement of 50 percent for majority foreign-owned 
companies. Thus, Thai Shinkong's ``promoted'' status was conditioned 
upon a legal obligation to export BG PET Resin. Therefore, we 
preliminarily determine that Thai Shinkong's specific package of IPA 
benefits was conditioned upon an export contingency, that the export 
requirement is de jure and, therefore, that all benefits received by 
Thai Shinkong under the IPA are specific as export subsidies within the 
meaning of section 771(5A)(B) of the Act.
    Bangkok Polyester's application for ``promoted'' status included a 
commitment to export a significant portion of its BG PET Resin 
production. Moreover, the Certificate granting ``promoted'' status to 
Bangkok Polyester and access to IPA programs clearly stipulates that a 
certain percentage of Bangkok Polyester's production must be exported. 
Therefore, Bangkok Polyester's access to IPA benefits was contingent 
upon an obligation to export BG PET Resin. For these reasons, we 
preliminarily determine that Bangkok Polyester's specific package of 
IPA benefits was conditioned upon an export contingency, that there was 
a de facto export requirement, and, therefore, that all benefits 
received by Bangkok Polyester under the IPA are specific as export 
subsidies pursuant to section 771(5A)(B) of the Act.
    Indopet's application for ``promoted'' company status did not 
include any commitment to export. Nor does Indopet's promotion 
certificate contain any export conditions. The RTG has reported that 
Indopet was approved for ``promoted'' company status under Section 6.17 
of the BOI's Announcement No. 2/1993, which contains a ``List of 
Activities Eligible for Investment Promotion.'' This announcement lists 
the categories and conditions of activities eligible for promotion. 
While for some of the products the list indicates that there are no 
conditions for obtaining ``promoted'' company status, most of the 
products included in this list are followed by a condition that the 
applicant must be located in a particular investment zone, for example, 
``must be located in Zone 2 or 3'' or ``must be located in Zone 3.'' BG 
PET Resin is covered by section 6.17 of Announcement No. 2/1993. 
Moreover, Indopet's promotion certificate, which sets forth the IPA 
benefits for which it has been approved, states that the plant must be 
located in Investment Zone 3. Accordingly, we find that Indopet could 
not have received any IPA benefits unless it located in Investment Zone 
3. Thus, we find that the benefits to Indopet under the IPA are de jure 
specific as regional subsidies, within the meaning of section 
771(5A)(D)(iv) of the Act.
    Because the benefits were composed of different types of incentives 
under different sections of the IPA, we are analyzing the issues of 
financial contribution and benefit under each relevant section.

A. Duty Exemptions on Imports of Machinery Under IPA Section 28
    IPA Section 28 allows companies to import machinery and equipment 
(fixed assets) with an exemption of import duties. According to the 
questionnaire responses, Thai Shinkong, Bangkok Polyester, and Indopet 
received import duty exemptions under IPA Section 28 during the years 
since their initial certificates were issued. Import duty exemptions 
provide a financial contribution under section 771(5)(D)(ii) of the Act 
in the form of foregone revenue that is otherwise due to the RTG. The 
benefit is the extent to which the import charges paid by the firms as 
result of the program are less than what they would have paid in the 
absence of the program. See 19 CFR 351.510(a). Since these import duty 
exemptions were for the purchase of capital equipment, we are treating 
these exemptions as non-recurring benefits in accordance with 19 CFR 
351.524(c)(2)(iii). The preamble to our regulations states that if a 
government provides an import duty exemption tied to major equipment 
purchases, ``it may be reasonable to conclude that, because these duty 
exemptions are tied to capital assets, the benefits from such duty 
exemptions should be considered non-recurring.'' See Countervailing 
Duties; Final Rule, 63 FR 65348, 65393 (November 25, 1998) (Preamble). 
The benefit received from the exemption of import duties under IPA 
Section 28 is tied to the capital assets of the respondent companies. 
Accordingly, we preliminarily determine that it is

[[Page 52865]]

appropriate to treat the exemption of duties on capital equipment as a 
non-recurring benefit. See also Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat 
Products from Thailand: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty 
Determination, 66 FR 50410 (October 6, 2001).
    To measure the benefit allocable to the POI, we first conducted the 
``0.5 percent test'' for each year a company received Section 28 import 
duty exemptions. See 19 CFR 351.524(b)(2). For each year in which a 
company received section 28 import duty exemptions, we summed the value 
of the company's duty exemptions provided in that year and divided that 
sum by the relevant total sales for that year (export sales of subject 
merchandise for Bangkok Polyester and Thai Shinkong and total sales of 
subject merchandise for Indopet) (see ``Subsidies Valuation'' section 
above). As a result, we found that, for certain companies in certain 
years, Section 28 import duty exemptions should be allocated over time. 
For those years, we allocated the annual total exemptions, in 
accordance with 19 CFR 351.524(d), to determine the Section 28 benefits 
attributable to the POI (see ``Allocation Period'' section above). In 
addition, for exemptions received during the POI, if they did not pass 
the ``0.5 percent test,'' we attributed the total value of the 
exemptions to the POI. For each company, we then summed the benefits 
allocable to the POI and divided that amount by the appropriate total 
sales of subject merchandise or exports of subject merchandise during 
the POI (see ``Subsidies Valuation Section'' above). Thus, we 
preliminarily determine a countervailable subsidy of 0.31 percent ad 
valorem for Bangkok Polyester, 0.06 percent ad valorem for Indopet and 
0.09 percent ad valorem for Thai Shinkong.

B. Additional Income Tax Deductions Under IPA Section 35
    IPA Section 35 provides various income tax deductions and 
exemptions for ``promoted'' firms. Section 35(2) allows a 50 percent 
reduction in the income tax rate for the period of five years from the 
expiry date of the full income tax exemptions available under Section 
31.
    Section 35(3) allows ``promoted'' companies to deduct from taxable 
income double the cost of transportation, electricity, and water for 
ten years after the ``promoted'' company first derives income. Section 
35(4) allows for an additional deduction of 25 percent of the cost of 
installation and construction of the ``promoted'' facilities. (IPA 
Section 35(1) was repealed by an earlier amendment.) During the POI, 
Thai Shinkong, Bangkok Polyester and Indopet claimed benefits under 
Section 35(3) on their tax returns filed during the POI. None of the 
companies used the benefits available under sections 35(2) or (4).
    Income tax deductions provide a financial contribution under 
section 771(5)(D)(ii) of the Act in the form of foregone revenue that 
is otherwise due to the RTG. The benefit is the extent to which the 
taxes paid by the firms as a result of the program are less than the 
tax the firms would otherwise pay in the absence of the program. See 19 
CFR 351.509(a)(1). Under the provisions of 19 CFR 351.509(a)(1), we 
preliminarily determine that the section 35(3) tax deductions 
constitute a benefit.
    To measure the benefit, we followed the methodology outlined in the 
Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing 
Duty Order; Extruded Rubber Thread from Malaysia, 57 FR 38475 (August 
25, 1992). We examined Thai Shinkong's, Bangkok Polyester's, and 
Indopet's 2002 tax returns, which were filed during the POI. We then 
determined the extent to which the countervailable tax deduction under 
Section 35(3) reduced the companies' taxable income by removing the 
Section 35(3) deductions claimed on the tax return filed during the 
POI. See id., at 57 FR 38480 (Department's Position at Comment 13); see 
also Extruded Rubber Thread From Malaysia; Final Results of 
Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, 60 FR 17516, 17518 (April 6, 
1995) (Department's Position at Comment 7). To the extent that a 
company was in a tax-paying position before and after we removed the 
Section 35(3) deductions from its tax calculation for 2002, we 
calculated the benefit by multiplying the Thai tax rate by the 
difference between the taxable income calculated by the company and the 
taxable income calculated after removing the Section 35(3) deductions. 
To the extent that a company in a tax loss position had taxable income 
after we removed the Section 35(3) deductions from the 2002 tax 
calculation, we calculated the benefit by multiplying the Thai tax rate 
by the taxable income resulting from our calculation.
    To the extent that a company carried losses forward from prior 
years to offset taxable income in 2002, we removed prior year Section 
35(3) deductions from the prior years' losses. If this removal resulted 
in taxable income in 2002, we then calculated the benefit by 
multiplying the Thai tax rate by that income. If the result was a tax 
loss, then the company received no benefit from this program during the 
POI. To determine the countervailable subsidy rate, we then divided 
each company's benefit by the appropriate total sales of subject 
merchandise or exports of subject merchandise (see ``Subsidies 
Valuation'' section above). Thus, we preliminarily determine the 
countervailable subsidy to be 0.26 percent ad valorem for Bangkok 
Polyester, 0.31 percent ad valorem for Indopet, and zero for Thai 
Shinkong.

Program Preliminarily Determined To Be Not Countervailable

Duty Exemptions on Imports of Raw and Essential Materials Under IPA 
Section 36
    In our initiation checklist, we indicated that we were initiating 
on Section 30 of the IPA, which provides duty exemptions on imports of 
raw material. The RTG reported that none of the Thai BG PET Resin 
producers/exporters received benefits under Section 30 of the IPA, but 
all three had received the same type of benefits under Section 36 of 
the IPA. We subsequently determined it was appropriate to investigate 
Section 36 of the IPA. See Memorandum from Dana Mermelstein to Barbara 
Tillman, Countervailing Duty Investigation of Bottle-Grade Polyethylene 
Terephthalate (PET) Resin from Thailand: Initiation of Investigation of 
Section 36 of the Investment Promotion Act, dated July 8, 2004, and on 
file in the Central Records Unit.
    Section 36 provides companies with export-specific import duty and 
tax exemptions. Section 36(1) allows companies to import raw and 
essential materials that are incorporated into goods for export with 
exemptions on import duties. Thai Shinkong, Bangkok Polyester, and 
Indopet received duty exemptions on imports of raw and essential 
materials under Section 36(1). Thai Shinkong, Bangkok Polyester, and 
Indopet each reported that they received exemptions under Section 36(1) 
on their imports of goods that were consumed in the production of 
merchandise for export. The RTG reported that Section 36(1) essentially 
operates as a duty drawback scheme and, as such, is not 
countervailable, as the exemptions on imported raw and essential 
materials can only be received for imported goods consumed in the 
production of exports. The RTG and the respondent companies have 
provided information about the system in place to monitor and track the 
consumption and/or re-export of goods imported under section 36(1), 
making normal allowances for waste. Based on the information on the 
record to date,

[[Page 52866]]

we preliminarily determine that this program is not countervailable 
within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.519(a)(4). However, we have a number 
of concerns about how the RTG confirms that the imported inputs are 
consumed in production of exports, and that the waste allowances are 
reasonable. Therefore, we will continue to gather data and analyze the 
information in the record, and we will verify the manner in which the 
RTG administers this duty drawback program and the system it uses to 
monitor and track the consumption and/or re-export of goods imported, 
making normal allowance for waste.

Programs Preliminarily Determined To Be Not Used

    We preliminarily determine that the producers/exporters of BG PET 
Resin did not apply for or receive benefits, during the POI, under the 
programs listed below.
A. Import Duty Exemptions on Raw and Essential Materials Under IPA 
Section 30
B. Corporate Income Tax Exemptions Under IPA Section 31
    For purposes of this preliminary determination, we have relied on 
the RTG and respondent companies' responses to preliminarily determine 
non-use of the programs listed above. During the course of 
verification, the Department will examine whether these programs were 
not used by respondent companies during the POI.

Verification

    In accordance with section 782(i) of the Act, we will verify the 
information submitted prior to making our final determination.

Preliminary Determination

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we have 
determined individual rates for Thai Shinkong, Bangkok Polyester, and 
Indopet. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) provides that the all others rate will 
generally be an amount equal to the weighted average countervailable 
subsidy rates established for exporters or producers individually 
investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis countervailable subsidy 
rates and any rates determined entirely on the basis of the facts 
available. In this case, however, the countervailable subsidy rates for 
all of the individually investigated exporters or producers are de 
minimis. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) provides that, when this is the case, 
the administering authority may use any reasonable method to establish 
the all others rate, including averaging the weighted average 
countervailable subsidy rates determined for the exporters and 
producers individually examined. Thus, to calculate the all-others 
rate, we weight-averaged the individual rates of Thai Shinkong, Bangkok 
Polyester, and Indopet based on each company's respective exports of 
subject merchandise to the United States during the POI. These rates 
are summarized in the table below:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Producer/Exporter                     Net Subsidy Rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thai Shinkong Industry Corporation Ltd...............  00.09 % ad valorem
Bangkok Polyester Public Company Limited.............  00.57 % ad valorem
Indopet (Thailand) Limited...........................  00.37 % ad valorem
All Others Rate......................................  00.26 % ad valorem
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These countervailable subsidy rates are de minimis in accordance 
with section 703(b)(4)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.106(b). Therefore, 
we preliminarily determine that countervailable subsidies are not being 
provided to producers or exporters of BG PET Resin from Thailand. Thus, 
we will not direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend 
liquidation of entries of the subject merchandise from Thailand.

ITC Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the 
ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the 
ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this 
investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and 
business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC 
confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or 
under an administrative protective order, without the written consent 
of the Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
    In accordance with section 705(b)(3) of the Act, if our final 
determination is negative, the ITC will make its final determination 
within 75 days after the Department makes its final determination.

Notification of Parties

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b), the Department will disclose 
to the parties the calculations for this preliminary determination 
within five days of its announcement. Unless otherwise notified by the 
Department, interested parties may submit case briefs within 50 days of 
the date of publication of the preliminary determination in accordance 
with 19 CFR 351.309(c)(i). As part of the case brief, parties are 
encouraged to provide a summary of the arguments not to exceed five 
pages and a table of statutes, regulations, and cases cited. Rebuttal 
briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs, must 
be filed within five days after the case brief is filed.
    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.310, we will hold a public hearing, 
if requested, to afford interested parties an opportunity to comment on 
this preliminary determination. Individuals who wish to request a 
hearing must submit a written request within 30 days of the publication 
of this notice in the Federal Register to the Assistant Secretary for 
Import Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 1870, 14th 
Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230. Parties will 
be notified of the schedule for the hearing and parties should confirm 
by telephone the time, date, and place of the hearing 48 hours before 
the scheduled time. Requests for a public hearing should contain: (1) 
party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of 
participants; and (3) to the extent practicable, an identification of 
the arguments to be raised at the hearing.
    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 
703(f) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: August 23, 2004.
James J. Jochum,
Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
[FR Doc. E4-1976 Filed 8-27-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S