May 31, 2017 Oil and Natural Gas Industry Comments to U.S. Department of Commerce on Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Steel
Dear Mr. Botwin: The Associations acknowledge the underlying objective for the nation to assess whether US imports of steel impair national security, per Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (hereafter referred to as “Section 232”). In doing so, the Associations urge the Department of Commerce to define “national security” narrowly so as to exclude steel supplied to the US oil and natural gas industry. The Associations remind the Department of Commerce that “national security” for this current Section 232 investigation is defined in 15 CFR § 705.4 with reference to eight specific factors. Most of these factors naturally focus specifically on considerations particular to “national defense;” it also includes certain catch-all language that would permit consideration of any “relevant” factors. However, the Associations caution the Department of Commerce to strictly limit its reliance on any “relevant” factor, which could dilute the strength – and legal defensibility – of the Department of Commerce’s analysis, and divert it from its core assessments related to national defense.