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DOC News: 232 Investigation of Vanadium, Export Services

Monday, June 08, 2020
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Increased Tariffs, Quotas Possible on Vanadium

At the request of two U.S. producers, the Department of Commerce has initiated a Section 232 investigation to determine whether U.S. national security is being harmed by imports of vanadium. Comments are due by July 20 and rebuttal comments are due by Aug. 18.

A DOC press release states that vanadium is a metal used in the production of metal alloys and as a catalyst for chemicals in the aerospace, defense, energy, and infrastructure sectors, including aircraft, jet engines, ballistic missiles, energy storage, bridges, buildings, and pipelines. DOC states that vanadium is designated as a strategic and critical mineral but that domestic demand is supplied entirely through imports. The petitioners assert that domestic industry is adversely impacted by unfairly traded low-priced imports, limited export markets due to value-added tax regimes in other vanadium-producing countries, and the distortionary effect of Chinese and Russian industrial policies. 

The DOC has up to 270 days to conclude this investigation and submit its report and recommendations to the president. If the DOC (which must consult with the Department of Defense) finds that excessive imports of vanadium are a threat to U.S. national security, and the president concurs, the president has the authority to adjust imports, including through the use of tariffs and quotas. Any such actions would be imposed within 15 days of the president’s determination to act.

For more information on this section 232 investigation and how it may affect your business, please contact Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965.

Export Service Fees Reduced

The Department of Commerce’s U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service is reducing or eliminating the costs of certain export services through Sept. 30 to encourage the export of U.S.-made goods not related to treatment of COVID-19. For U.S. companies that produce goods or services for export, the USFCS is authorized to reduce user fees and services by up to 100 percent for U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises and economic development organizations and by up to 50 percent for large U.S. companies.

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