Background

The Bureau of Industry and Security has self-initiated a Section 232 investigation to determine whether U.S. national security is being harmed by imports of neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets.

BIS states that numerous critical national security systems rely on these magnets, including fighter aircraft and missile guidance systems. The magnets are also essential components of critical infrastructure, including electric vehicles and wind turbines, and are used in computer hard drives, audio equipment, and MRI devices.

Comments on this investigation are due by Nov. 12. Among other things BIS is interested in the quantity of subject magnets being imported and the impact of foreign competition on the economic welfare of domestic producers.

BIS has up to 270 days to conclude this investigation and submit its report and recommendations to the president. If BIS (which must consult with the Department of Defense) finds that the subject magnets are being imported in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair 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 attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 or via email.

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