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Commerce Switches to Use Brazilian SV Data on Non-Oak Logs After CIT Rebuke

The Commerce Department, on remand at the Court of International Trade, switched to using Brazilian surrogate value information to value antidumping duty respondent Jiangsu Senmao Bamboo and Wood Industry Co.'s non-oak log inputs. Changing course as part of the 2019-20 AD review of multilayered wood flooring from China, Commerce switched to using Brazilian data, the primary surrogate nation, after the trade court rejected its initial use of Malaysian data for the factors of production (Jiangsu Senmao Bamboo and Wood Industry Co. v. U.S., CIT # 22-00190).

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However, the agency continued to use Malaysian data under its Harmonized Schedule subheading 4403.91.1000 to value Senmao's oak log inputs given that the Brazilian data on oak logs is unavailable, warranting the departure from the Brazilian data. The agency also stuck by its decision to adjust the composite Brazilian surrogate value for plywood by removing the Spanish import data for January 2020 from the average unit value because "this single line of data was clearly erroneous."

The trade court in an August opinion rejected the use of the Malaysian data for the log inputs, finding the agency did not cite any evidence showing the Brazilian data was "highly questionable, inadequate or unavailable" (see 2308250059). Senmao used seven different log species in making the subject flooring, two of those oak and the others non-oak, Commerce noted. During the remand proceeding, the agency revisited the Brazilian surrogate value for all of the log types, ultimately deciding to use this data for the non-oak inputs.

The agency said the "substantial evidence did not lead us to conclude that the Brazilian log SV is either highly questionable, inadequate, or unavailable to use to value Senmao’s log inputs." However, given the inadequacy of the Brazilian data for the oak logs, Commerce used Malaysian HS subheading 4403.91.1000 data for Senmao's oak log inputs and Brazilian HS subheading 4403.99 data to value the non-oak logs.

On the surrogate value for plywood, CIT remanded the issue since the evidence Commerce relied on in adjusting the plywood surrogate value data was not filed with the court. On remand, the agency referred to an exhibit in petitioner American Manufacturers of Multilayered Wood Flooring’s comments, showing "the density of various wood species, including birch, elm, and oak, from the website Engineering ToolBox," along with standard conversation factors of wooden products from the U.N. Commerce said it used this data to make the adjustment.