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Commerce 232 resolution coming 'soon'

Oct 01, 2017 | 07:00 AM | AMM staff

A months-long government probe into aluminum and steel imports is approaching a conclusion with President Donald Trump  expected to obtain the results of Section 232 investigations before the January deadline, according to Salim Bhabhrawala, an international trade specialist at the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration.

“We plan to submit our recommendation to the White House well ahead of the deadline in January,” he said at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ conference in Chicago in early September. “It’s an open case and there are no set of scenarios ... all options are really on the table, but you can be sure that we will have a proposal to the president soon.”

Bhabhrawala emphasized that many stake holders were being consulted, including the Defense Department and aluminum extruders.

“The reason for the delay is ... there is a national security implication,” he said, adding that the agency has sought direct input from all military forces.

Steel industry executives have urged immediate action on that industry’s Section 232 investigation, noting that imports surged since the investigation was initiated in April. The Section 232 for steel was expected to be concluded by the end of June.

A similar investigation into aluminum imports was launched April 27, with the deadline for the president to take action set for May 5, 2018.

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