The Bureau of Industry and Security has revised its regulations to increase the transparency of Section 232 national security investigations, which can result in additional import tariffs.

Under amendments to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 made by Congress in 1988, if the president receives a report from the Department of Commerce that imports of a particular product are threatening national security he/she must determine within 90 days (1) whether he/she concurs and, if so, (2) the nature and duration of the action needed to adjust those imports so they will no longer pose such a threat. The law also states that the president must implement any such action within 15 days of that determination.

Effective Sept. 24, this rule requires interested parties applying for a Section 232 investigation that include business confidential information in their submissions to simultaneously submit a public version of their application. Applications including BCI (trade secrets, commercial or financial information, etc.) must contain a public summary of the information that provides sufficient detail to permit a reasonable understanding of its substance. If summarization is not possible, the application must make that claim and include a full explanation of its basis.

However, the rule provides that communications from federal agencies in Section 232 proceedings, including requests to initiate investigations, will generally not be made available to the public.

For more information on strategies to mitigate the impact of Section 232 tariffs, please contact Mark Segrist or Mark Tallo.

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