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Aluminum Import Review Results Sent to White House

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross submitted to President Trump Jan. 19 the results of the department’s section 232 investigation into the effect of wrought and unwrought aluminum imports on U.S. national security. However, Ross said those results would only be made public once Trump announces his decision on whether to take action, which must be made within 90 days.

In April 2017 DOC self-initiated an investigation under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to determine whether foreign-made aluminum is being imported in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten or impair U.S. national security. If the DOC’s determination is affirmative, and the president concurs, he has the authority to adjust imports, including through the use of tariffs and quotas. Any import adjustments, or any other non-trade-related actions the president may elect to take, would be imposed within 15 days of his determination to act.

In a statement welcoming the conclusion of the DOC’s investigation, the Aluminum Association said any remedial actions taken by the president should (1) specifically address Chinese overcapacity and its effects, (2) not interfere with the trading relationship between the U.S. and critical trading partner countries, (3) address the needs of both primary and downstream U.S. production, and (4) include an import monitoring system, particularly for imports from countries that pose a circumvention threat such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

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