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US govt agencies feel impact of shutdown

Keywords: Tags  metals markets, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Commerce, U.S. ports, government shutdown, Daniel Fitzgerald, Catherine Ngai, Samuel Frizell


NEW YORK — Some U.S. government agencies important to the domestic metal markets have already been impacted by the Oct. 1 government shutdown following a budget impasse in Congress.

Department of Commerce

Commerce has delayed all administrative deadlines related to U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws for the duration of the shutdown, including preliminary and final determinations, according to its website.

Steel import license data will be temporarily suspended online, although license and customs paperwork will need to be filed for incoming shipments.

Customs and Border Protection

Customs was expected to retain 52,673 of its 59,561 employees in the event of a government shutdown and cease all functions not exempt from the federal spending hiatus within four hours of notification, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Sept. 27.

A representative from Customs who wasn’t authorized to give official comment confirmed that Customs employees are being furloughed.

"But there’s still operational work being carried out by our staff," the representative said.

DLA Strategic Materials

A spokesman for DLA Strategic Materials said the government agency hasn’t been affected by the shutdown.

"The way this organization is funded, we are exempt from the current funding impasse," he said. "So we’re planning on operating, and if there’s a change we’ll notify people. But anyone who has made purchases can still expect to get their shipments."

International Trade Commission (ITC)

The ITC will shut down its investigative activities for the duration of the finding hiatus, including anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations and reviews. Hearings and deadlines, like the hearing on hot-rolled steel five-year reviews scheduled for Oct. 3, will be postponed unless a budget is passed in the next couple of days.

U.S. ports

The Port of Houston Authority won’t be affected as a state entity, with business running as usual, a port official said.

Shipping will continue at Alabama ports, Alabama State Port Authority vice president of marketing Judith Adams said, and dredging, inland locks and dams, power generation, vessel borders and marine safety will still operate.

Daniel Fitzgerald and Catherine Ngai, New York, contributed to this article.


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