WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner and Senator Ron Johnson sent the following letter to United States Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, urging him to consider the unintended ramifications of a Department investigation into the effects of steel imports on national security, and its potential negative impact on U.S. manufacturing – mainly increased, unnecessary, and burdensome restrictions:
Dear Secretary Ross,
Re: Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Steel
We write to you regarding the Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Commerce, dated April 20, 2017, which directs an “investigation under section 232(b)(1)(A) of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. 1862(b)(1)(A)) to determine the effects on national security of steel imports, and its potential negative impact on manufacturing in the United States.
We are greatly concerned that an investigation by the Department of Commerce may not distinguish between the different types of products produced from electrical steel and therefore unnecessarily place restrictions on the importation of electrical steel and components used to manufacture electric distribution transformers.
Grain Oriented Chemically or Mechanically Etched Domain Refined Electrical Steel is a critical component in producing Wound Core Electrical Transformers. This specific grain oriented electrical steel is sought after in the developed world due to its very high performance in electrical distribution systems. As such, there are no producers that supply this type of electrical steel in North America. Additionally, this precise grain oriented electrical steel allows power producers to meet and exceed the 2016 Department of Energy efficiency standards placed on electrical distribution transformers.
We believe that a potential quota placed on Grain Oriented Chemically or Mechanically Etched Domain Refined Electrical Steel could have unintended consequences that leave producers without a supply of this vital material, ultimately jeopardizing the domestic production of electrical transformers and potentially impacting hundreds of jobs in the state of Wisconsin.
Therefore, we ask that the Department of Commerce considers the lack of domestic supply of specific Grain Oriented Electrical Steel and request that Grain Oriented Chemically or Mechanically Etched Domain Refined Electrical Steel not be subject to action under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.
F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Member of Congress
United States Senator