As described in an earlier post to this blog, the Commerce Department initiated an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 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 Commerce Department has requested public comments regarding the investigation.   Interested parties may submit written comments, data, analyses or other information pertinent to the Commerce Department’s investigation no later than June 9. 2020.  Rebuttal comments are due by June 19, 2020.

This investigation should be of interest to electric utilities and other electricity suppliers, as well as other firms whose services require the use of electrical transformers.

Guidance for comments

The Federal Register announcement of the request for comments lists the following as topics that the Commerce Department is particularly interested in regarding “laminations for stacked cores for incorporation into transformers, stacked and wound cores for incorporation into transformers, electrical transformers, and transformer regulators” (“the Products”):

  • Quantity of, or other circumstances related to, the importation of the Products;
  • Domestic production and productive capacity needed for the Products to meet projected national defense requirements;
  • Existing and anticipated availability of human resources, products, raw materials, production equipment, and facilities to produce the Products;
  • 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;
  • The impact of foreign competition on the economic welfare of the Products’ industries;
  • 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;
  • National defense supporting uses of the Products including data on applicable contracts or sub-contracts, both past and current;
  • Country of manufacture for the Products;
  • Relevant factors that are causing or will cause a weakening of our national economy

The Federal Register notice also describes detailed requirements for submitting comments and rebuttal comments.  The Commerce Department is allowed to take up to 270 days for the investigation, but it is not required to do so.

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Photo of Bud Earley Bud Earley

Bud Earley, a non-lawyer senior advisor, provides analysis and advice on a wide range of federal and state energy regulatory issues, including transaction and rate issues, regional transmission organization (RTO) tariffs and rules, interconnection, retail choice and demand response for electricity customers…

Bud Earley, a non-lawyer senior advisor, provides analysis and advice on a wide range of federal and state energy regulatory issues, including transaction and rate issues, regional transmission organization (RTO) tariffs and rules, interconnection, retail choice and demand response for electricity customers, a natural gas pipelines and hydroelectric facility licenses, and LNG export authorizations.

Working with Covington teams, Mr. Earley has provided expert advice and analysis to investment firms, utilities, independent power producers, project developers, customers, marketers and U.S. and international energy companies,

Prior to joining Covington, Mr. Earley served for over 30 years in various staff positions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). While at the FERC, Mr. Earley was instrumental in developing and applying policies regarding the transition of the electric utility industry to competition, including policies regarding independent power producers, transmission access, standard generator interconnection procedures, organized electricity markets, mergers and market-based rates.