On May 19, 2020, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a Federal Register notice seeking public comment, data analyses, and other relevant information pertaining to the Commerce’s May 11 initiation of a national security investigation into imports of certain components for incorporation into transformers, electrical transformers and transformer regulators pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. (See Thompson Hine International Trade Updated regarding Recent Executive Actions Focus on Bulk-Power System Grid Security and Supply Chain). Public comments must be filed no later than June 9, 2020, and rebuttal comments will be due by June 19, 2020.

The investigation has been undertaken to determine the effect on the national security of imports of Laminations for Stacked Cores for Incorporation into Transformers, Stacked Cores for Incorporation into Transformers, Wound Cores for Incorporation into Transformers, Electrical Transformers, and Transformer Regulators (hereinafter ‘‘Products’’). BIS is particularly interested in comments and information on the following issues:

(i) Quantity of, or other circumstances related to, the importation of the Products;

(ii) Domestic production and productive capacity needed for the Products to meet projected national defense requirements;

(iii) Existing and anticipated availability of human resources, products, raw materials, production equipment, and facilities to produce the Products;

(iv) Growth requirements of Products’ industries to meet national defense requirements and/or requirements for supplies and services necessary to assure such growth including investment, exploration, and development;

(v) The impact of foreign competition on the economic welfare of the Products’ industries;

(vi) The displacement of any domestic production of the Products causing substantial unemployment, decrease in the revenues of government, loss of investment or specialized skills and productive capacity, or other serious effects;

(vii) National defense supporting uses of the Products including data on applicable contracts or sub-contracts, both past and current;

(viii) Country of manufacture for the Products;

(ix) Relevant factors that are causing or will cause a weakening of our national economy; and

(x) Any other relevant factors, including the use and importance of the Products in critical infrastructure sectors identified in Presidential Policy Directive 21 (Feb. 12, 2013) (for a listing of those sectors see https://www.dhs.gov/cisa/critical-infrastructure-sectors).

Written Submissions and Public Hearing

All comments must be addressed Section 232 Electrical Steel Investigation and filed via the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov on Docket No. BIS–2020–0015. While the docket will allow users to provide comments by filling in the “Comment” field, submitters are encouraged to provide comments in an attached document, including any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments, which can be uploaded and filed as part of the submission.

Submitted comments will be made available for public inspection, except information determined to be confidential. Anyone submitting business confidential information should clearly identify the business confidential portion at the time of submission, file a statement justifying nondisclosure, and file a public version.

As noted, comments must be filed by June 9, 2020, with rebuttal comments due no later than June 19, 2020. Rebuttal comments can only address issues raised in comments filed on or before the original June 9 deadline.

Commerce has not yet announced whether a public hearing will be held for this investigation. If such a hearing is held, a separate Federal Register notice will be issued.