As recently directed by the president, the Department of Commerce is quickly advancing its section 232 investigation into the national security effects of steel imports. The DOC will hold a public hearing May 24 and is accepting written comments, data, analyses, and other information through May 31.

The DOC has self-initiated an investigation under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to determine whether imports of foreign-made steel are harming U.S. national security. If the DOC’s determination is affirmative, and the president concurs, the president has the authority to adjust imports, including through the use of tariffs and quotas. Although the law gives the DOC up to 270 days to conclude a section 232 investigation and submit its report and recommendations, President Trump has directed the DOC to expedite this investigation and reportedly said he anticipates results within 30 to 50 days.

The DOC states that it is particularly interested in comments and information on the following factors.

- quantity of steel or other circumstances related to the importation of steel

- domestic production and productive capacity needed for steel to meet projected national defense requirements

- existing and anticipated availability of human resources, products, raw materials, production equipment, and facilities to produce steel

- growth requirements of the steel industry to meet national defense requirements and/or requirements to assure such growth

- impact of foreign competition on the economic welfare of the steel industry

- displacement of any domestic steel causing substantial unemployment, decrease in government revenues, loss of investment or specialized skills and productive capacity, or other serious effects

- relevant factors that are causing or will cause a weakening of the national economy

- any other relevant factors

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