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Notice

Notice Request for Public Comments and Public Hearing on Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Steel

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Technology Evaluation, U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of request for public comments and public hearing.

SUMMARY:

The Secretary of Commerce initiated an investigation to determine the effects on the national security of imports of steel. This investigation has been initiated under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. Interested parties are invited to submit written comments, data, analyses, or other information pertinent to the investigation to the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security. The Department of Commerce will also hold a public hearing on the investigation on May 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. This notice identifies the issues on which the Department is interested in obtaining the public's views. It also sets forth the procedures for public participation in the hearing.

DATES:

Comments may be submitted at any time but must be received by May 31, 2017.

The hearing will be held on May 24, 2017 at the U.S. Department of Commerce auditorium, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. local time and conclude at 1:00 p.m. local time.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments: Send written comments to Brad Botwin, Director, Industrial Studies, Office of Technology Evaluation, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 1093, Washington, DC 20230 or by email to Steel232@bis.doc.gov.

Public hearing: Send requests to speak and written summaries of the oral presentations to Brad Botwin, Director, Industrial Studies, Office of Technology Evaluation, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 1093, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 or by email to Steel232@bis.doc.gov, by May 17, 2017. Any person, whether presenting or not, may submit a written statement through May 31, 2017—7 days after the hearing date.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brad Botwin, Director, Industrial Studies, Office of Technology Evaluation, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce (202) 482-4060, brad.botwin@bis.doc.gov. For more information about the section 232 program, including the regulations and the text of previous investigations, see www.bis.doc.gov/​232.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On April 19, 2017, the Secretary of Commerce (“Secretary”) initiated an investigation under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862), to determine the effects on the national security of imports of steel. On April 20, 2017, the President signed a memorandum directing the Secretary to proceed expeditiously in conducting his investigation and submit a report on his findings to the President. The President further directed that if the Secretary finds that steel is being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security, the Secretary shall recommend actions and steps that should be taken to adjust steel Start Printed Page 19206imports so that they will not threaten to impair the national security.

Written Comments

This investigation is being undertaken in accordance with part 705 of the National Security Industrial Base Regulations (15 CFR parts 700 to 709) (“NSIBR”). Interested parties are invited to submit written comments, data, analyses, or information pertinent to this investigation to the Office of Technology Evaluation, U.S. Department of Commerce (“the Department”), no later than May 31, 2017.

The Department is particularly interested in comments and information directed to the criteria listed in §  705.4 of the NSIBR as they affect national security, including the following: (a) Quantity of steel or other circumstances related to the importation of steel; (b) Domestic production and productive capacity needed for steel to meet projected national defense requirements; (c) Existing and anticipated availability of human resources, products, raw materials, production equipment, and facilities to produce steel; (d) Growth requirements of the steel industry to meet national defense requirements and/or requirements to assure such growth; (e) The impact of foreign competition on the economic welfare of the steel industry; (f) The displacement of any domestic steel causing substantial unemployment, decrease in the revenues of government, loss of investment or specialized skills and productive capacity, or other serious effects; (g) The displacement of any domestic steel causing substantial unemployment, decrease in the revenues of government, loss of investment or specialized skills and productive capacity, or other serious effects; (h) Relevant factors that are causing or will cause a weakening of our national economy; and (i) Any other relevant factors.

Material that is business confidential information will be exempted from public disclosure as provided for by §  705.6 of the regulations. Anyone submitting business confidential information should clearly identify the business confidential portion of the submission, then file a statement justifying nondisclosure and referring to the specific legal authority claimed, and provide a non-confidential submission which can be placed in the public file. Communications from agencies of the United States Government will not be made available for public inspection. Please note that the submission of comments for presentation at the public hearing is separate from the request for written comments.

The Bureau of Industry and Security does not maintain a separate public inspection facility. Requesters should first view the Bureau's Web page, which can be found at https://efoia.bis.doc.gov/​ (see “Electronic FOIA” heading). If requesters cannot access the Web site, they may call 202-482-0795 for assistance. The records related to this assessment are made accessible in accordance with the regulations published in part 4 of title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations (15 CFR 4.1 et seq.).

Public Hearing

Consistent with the interest of the U.S. Department of Commerce in soliciting public comments on issues affecting U.S. industry and national security, the Department is holding a public hearing as part of the investigation. The hearing will assist the Department in determining whether imports of steel threaten to impair the national security and in recommending remedies if such a threat is found to exist. Public comments at the hearing should address the criteria listed in §  705.4 of the NSIBR as they affect national security described above.

The hearing will be held on May 24, 2017 at the U.S. Department of Commerce auditorium, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. local time and conclude at 1:00 p.m. local time.

Procedure for Requesting Participation

The Department encourages interested public participants to present their views orally at the hearing. Any person wishing to make an oral presentation at the hearing must submit a written request to the Department of Commerce at the address indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The request to participate in the hearing must be accompanied by a copy of a summary of the oral presentation. The written request and summary must be received by the Department no later than Wednesday, May 17, 2017. In addition, the request to speak should contain (1) the name and address of the person requesting to make a presentation; (2) a daytime phone number where the person who would be making the oral presentation may be contacted before the hearing; (3) the organization or company they represent; and (4) an email address.

Please note that the submission of comments for presentation at the public hearing is separate from the request for written comments. Since it may be necessary to limit the number of persons making presentations, the written request to participate in the public hearing should describe the individual's interest in the hearing and, where appropriate, explain why the individual is a proper representative of a group or class of persons that has such an interest. If all interested parties cannot be accommodated at the hearing, the summaries of the oral presentations will be used to allocate speaking time and to ensure that a full range of comments is heard.

Each person selected to make a presentation will be notified by the Department of Commerce no later than 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, May 19, 2017. The Department will arrange the presentation times for the speakers. Persons selected to be heard are requested to bring 20 copies of their oral presentation and of all exhibits to the hearing site on the day of the hearing. All such material must be of a size consistent with ease of handling, transportation and filing. While large exhibits may be used during a hearing, copies of such exhibits in reduced size must be provided to the panel. Written submissions by persons not selected to make presentations will be made part of the public record of the proceeding. Any person, whether presenting or not, may submit a written statement through May 31, 2017—7 days after the hearing date. Confidential business information may not be submitted at a public hearing. In the event confidential business information is submitted it will be handled according to the same procedures applicable to such information provided in the course of an investigation. See 15 CFR 705.6. The hearing will be recorded.

Copies of the requests to participate in the public hearing, and the transcript of the hearing will be maintained on the Bureau of Industry and Security's Web page, which can be found at http://www.bis.doc.gov (see Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) heading). If the requesters cannot access the Web site, they may call (202) 482-0795 for assistance. The records related to this assessment are made accessible in accordance with the regulations published in part 4 of title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations (15 CFR 4.1 et seq.).

Conduct of the Hearing

The Department reserves the right to select the persons to be heard at the hearing, to schedule their respective presentations, and to establish the procedures governing the conduct of the hearing. Each speaker will be limited to Start Printed Page 1920710 minutes, and comments must be directly related to the criteria listed in 15 CFR 705.4 of the regulations. Attendees will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

A Department official will be designated to preside at the hearing. The presiding officer shall determine all procedural matters during the hearing. Representatives from the Department, and other U.S. Government agencies as appropriate, will make up the hearing panel. This will be a fact-finding proceeding; it will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type hearing. Only members of the hearing panel may ask questions, and there will be no cross-examination of persons presenting statements. However, questions submitted to the presiding officer in writing may, at the discretion of the presiding officer, be posed to the presenter. No formal rules of evidence will apply to the hearing.

Any further procedural rules for the proper conduct of the hearing will be announced by the presiding officer.

Special Accommodations

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be received by the Department of Commerce no later than Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the address indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

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Dated: April 21, 2017.

Wilbur L. Ross,

Secretary of Commerce.

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[FR Doc. 2017-08499 Filed 4-24-17; 11:15 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-33-P