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June 17, 2019

U.S. Commerce Department Launches New Site For Section 232 Exclusion Process

On June 10, the U.S. Commerce Department launched a new portal through which all Section 232 exclusion requests and objections must be submitted. Starting on June 13, the department began accepting exclusion requests via the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) website at trade.gov/232/steelalum instead of on the federal rulemaking portal at regulations.gov.

The move comes as the Trump administration was under pressure by federal lawmakers to improve the exclusion process. In a notice in the Federal Register, the department noted, “While regulations.gov was readily available to quickly implement the exclusions process, the site was not easily adaptable to the 232 submissions process, particularly as it evolved into a multi-step system and required a significant amount of human data entry.”

According to FastmarketsAMM (subscription required), the Commerce Department will accept public comments on the new portal until August 9. The department will continue to use regulations.gov to process all exclusion requests that had already been filed or that were filed no later than June 12, including related submissions that are filed in regulations.gov after June 12, until the underlying exclusions requests receive a final decision.

The department issued a user’s guide and question and answer document to help with implementation of this new process. Click here to read the Commerce Department’s final rule governing this process.