The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched an investigation into the import of vanadium from Russia and China, the agency said on its website.
The reason for the investigation was a petition of the U.S. producers of this metal, filed to the Ministry of Commerce in autumn 2019. As they claim, the interests are infringed by the cheapness of imported vanadium and restrictions on exports due to taxes.
“We will conduct a thorough, fair and transparent investigation to determine if the import of vanadium threatens U.S. national security,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. He said the metal is used in the nation’s national defense industry and is an integral part of its aerospace application.
The investigation is conducted under Article 232 of the U.S. Trade Promotion Act of 1962, which allows the U.S. president to impose or maintain restrictions on imports from abroad for national security reasons, Gazeta.ru notes. A notification letter about the beginning of the investigation was sent to the head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper.
Vanadium is used in the production of metal alloys and as a catalyst for chemicals in aerospace, defense, energy and infrastructure.
In early April, U.S. President Donald Trump gave his assessment of the revealed violations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation after an inspection by the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice Michael Horowitz.