White House Confirms Receipt of U.S. Commerce Department’s Section 232 Investigation Into Imported Aluminium
23 January 2018 by Staff
Both the United States Commerce Department and the White House confirm that the long-awaited results of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation into the national security implications of aluminium imports from, among others, the People’s Republic of China have been delivered to the desk of U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters, the report was delivered to the president on Friday immediately prior to the partial federal government shutdown. Another White House official indicated that an official announcement from the Oval Office would be issued on Sunday, but no such announcement was forthcoming.
The Commerce Department issued a brief statement mid-morning on Monday, but its statement did not reveal anything about the findings of the investigation.
“After this submission, by law the President has 90 days to decide on any potential action based on the findings of the investigation,” the statement read.
In addition to comments by the Aluminum Association released earlier in the weekend, other stakeholders in the United States aluminium sector weighed in upon news of the report’s delivery, including Century Aluminum.
“We look forward to swift and decisive action by the President on this issue in order to save the American aluminum industry. American producers need comprehensive relief against excess capacity from all state supported enterprises — not just China — to create a fair playing field.”
The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released a statement on Monday as well, citing the jobs lost and necessary infrastructure threatened by continued imports of low-cost aluminium by government-subsidized producers overseas.
“Workers in the aluminum sector make products vital to our national security and critical infrastructure. They have had to bear repeated attacks on their industry and jobs largely by state-supported global producers who do not care about market economics. Twenty-three smelters produced aluminum in the U.S. in 2000 making the U.S. one of the world’s largest producers. Today, there are only five smelters and only two of them are producing at capacity. Roughly 75 percent of the jobs in the sector have been lost since 2003.
“Aluminum is a key material used in missiles, munitions, airframes, the electrical grid and countless other applications. Last April, workers were told that an expedited investigation would occur, but action was delayed. The White House has received the Commerce Department study and we are hoping it recognizes, as all Americans do, the importance of aluminum production to our nation. The USW looks for comprehensive and effective relief that will be implemented quickly. The country cannot afford to wait much longer.”
As of the close of business on Monday, the White House has yet to issue an official statement upon the subject. However, the president is widely believed to be prepared to enact government-based responses to the findings, with the primary debate among his advisers over the aggressiveness of the response to be taken.