Tariffs, quotas, and/or other restrictions could be imposed on imports of mobile cranes depending on the outcome of a newly-announced new Section 232 investigation. A similar probe was recently announced for electrical transformer components.

The Department of Commerce has announced that it will self-initiate a Section 232 investigation to determine whether U.S. national security is being harmed by imports of mobile cranes. A DOC press release explains that the Department of Homeland Security has identified mobile cranes as a critical industry because of their extensive use in national defense applications and critical infrastructure. However, a domestic producer is alleging that imports of low-priced mobile cranes, particularly from Germany, Austria, and Japan, as well as intellectual property infringement by foreign competition have resulted in the closure of one of its two U.S. production facilities and eliminated hundreds of skilled manufacturing jobs.

If the DOC (which must consult with the Department of Defense) finds that excessive imports of mobile cranes 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.

The DOC has up to 270 days to conclude a section 232 investigation and submit its report and recommendations to the president. A hearing date and request for public comments are expected to be published shortly in the Federal Register.

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

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