U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced he will initiate an investigation into whether laminations for stacked cores for incorporation into transformers, stacked and wound cores for incorporation into transformers, electrical transformers, and transformer regulators are being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security. The decision to launch an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, follows inquiries and requests from multiple members of Congress as well as industry stakeholders. As required by law, Secretary Ross will send a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper informing him of the investigation. Secretary Ross will also notify other relevant executive branch officials.
“The Department of Commerce will conduct a thorough, fair, and transparent review to determine the effects on the national security from imports of laminations for stacked cores for incorporation into transformers, stacked and wound cores for incorporation into transformers, electrical transformers, and transformer regulators,” said Secretary Ross.
Transformers are part of the U.S. energy infrastructure. Laminations and cores made of grain-oriented electrical steel are critical transformer components. Electrical steel is necessary for power distribution transformers for all types of energy – including solar, nuclear, wind, coal, and natural gas – across the country. An assured domestic supply of these products enables the United States to respond to large power disruptions affecting civilian populations, critical infrastructure, and U.S. defense industrial production capabilities.
The investigation, to be conducted by the Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, will provide the opportunity for public comment. A notice will be published shortly in the Federal Register.