The Section 232 investigation begun Monday is in response to a petition filed in September by domestic producer Titanium Metals Corporation.
The U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday initiated a national security investigation into the imports of titanium sponge, which is used in the production of military aircraft, space vehicles, satellites, naval vessels, missiles and munitions.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (pictured above) accepted the Section 232 petition filed on Sept. 27 by domestic producer Titanium Metals Corporation and launched an investigation into whether the quantity or circumstances of the imports threaten to impair national security, according to the department.
The Department of Defense supports the investigation.
“The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security will conduct a thorough, fair and transparent investigation before we make a recommendation to the president,” said Ross, who sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan informing him the investigation had been initiated.
Imports account for more than 60 percent of U.S. titanium sponge consumption, and currently only one American facility has the capacity to process titanium ore used in manufacturing. Titanium sponge also is used for infrastructure and commercial applications such as civilian aircraft, chemical plants, electrical power and desalination plants, building structures, automobile products and biomedical devices.
In 2017, the Commerce Department launched an investigation into the alleged dumping of U.S. titanium sponge imports from Japan and Kazakhstan and whether the imports from Kazakhstan received unfair subsidiaries. The U.S. International Trade Commission voted to end the probe because it found U.S. producers weren’t harmed.