Yesterday evening the Commerce Department sent to the White House its findings in the Section 232 national security investigation on steel imports. The much anticipated report was originally due to be issued last year, but faced several delays. The President now has the authority to decide whether to accept or reject the Commerce Department’s findings within the next 90 days. If they are accepted, the administration could then decide to impose quotas, tariffs, or a combination of both (a “tariff-rate quota”) on imports that are found to threaten U.S. national security.
Neither the White House nor the Commerce Department has announced the contents of the report and whether the Commerce Department concluded that steel imports (or a particular subset of steel imports) pose a threat to national security. The Commerce Department issued a press release stating that the Secretary reported the Department’s findings to the President. After the President has announced a decision, the Department intends to publish the public findings of the investigation.