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232 report pushed back: Trump administration

Jun 14, 2017 | 01:28 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Section 232, Donald Trump, Trump administration, Commerce Department, Wilbur Ross, imports, steel, Michael Cowden

PITTSBURGH — The U.S. Commerce Department remains on track to release a key report in its Section 232 investigation into steel imports soon, Trump administration sources said. But the report will likely be released next week instead of this week, they said.

The report was expected to be released earlier by some legal experts and steel industry participants.

Such predictions came after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week that the Section 232 inquiry would end “very, very shortly.”

Ross has said the study could recommend three kinds of actions:

  • Imposing tariffs “above and beyond” the current anti-dumping and countervailing duties already in place 
  • Imposing quotas limiting the volumes of imports 
  • Imposing a hybrid “tariff-rate quota” option that would set quotas on specific products with new tariffs for imports above those levels “based on actual experience in recent years.”
Section 232 is part of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. It allows the president to penalize imports if he decides they pose a threat to national security.

Trump said that his administration might take "major action" once it receives Commerce's report.

Ross last month said that his department would complete its Section 232 report on steel imports by the end of June, far ahead of the 270 days mandated by statute. The president then has another 90 days to decide whether he agrees with the Commerce secretary’s decision, and then another 15 days to decide what course of action might be necessary.

A separate 232 probe has been initiated vs. imports of aluminum.

Michael Cowden

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