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January 9, 2018

Deadlines For Steel, Aluminum Section 232 Investigations Looming

Last spring, the White House announced that the president had directed the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate the impact that steel and aluminum imports into the United States have on national security.

While the Commerce Department was expected to release the results of its studies months ago, it has not and the deadlines for submitting its findings and recommendations are now just days away. The steel report must be submitted to the White House by January 15 while the results of the aluminum study are due by January 22.

As part of its reports, the Commerce Department will outline what measures, if any, it thinks the White House should take to curb imports of these metals. After the Commerce Department submits its findings to the White House, the president has 90 days to decide how to handle the department’s recommended actions and then an additional 15 days to implement any recommendations. The president must submit to Congress a written statement of the reasons that his administration will take action or will not take action.  

President Donald Trump reportedly still prefers that the Commerce Department recommend tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but not all of his advisers support that radical option. The Metals Service Center Institute submitted its recommendations to the Commerce Department last summer. Click here to read a summary of MSCI’s comments on the Section 232 steel investigation and here to read its aluminum testimony.