Steel News

GOES Transformer Components Focus of New Section 232 Investigation

5/6/2020 - The U.S. Commerce Department will investigate whether imports of transformer laminations and wound cores pose a national security risk to the U.S. 

In a statement, the Commerce Department said the investigation, which will be carried out under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, follows requests from members of Congress and those in the industry. 

“The Department of Commerce will conduct a thorough, fair and transparent review," the department said.

Laminations and cores are made of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES). Electrical steelmaker AK Steel is applauding the move. 

“The integrity of America’s electric grid and over 1,400 family-sustaining jobs at AK Steel’s Butler Works in Pennsylvania and Zanesville Works in Ohio depend on speedy resolution of this investigation,” said Lourenco Goncalves, chairman and chief executive of AK Steel parent Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

“We are confident that this self-initiated investigation will reinforce the critical nature of ensuring a reliable domestic supply of GOES to support electric power distribution, and will address the circumvention of national security tariffs involving transformer laminations and cores of GOES.” 

The company contends that overseas GOES producers are evading tariffs by shipping product to Mexico and Canada, where the material is cut and formed into cores and laminations.

“AK Steel is the last remaining producer of GOES in North America. This blatant circumvention activity has degraded the domestic electrical steel market and now threatens the viability of Cleveland-Cliffs continuing to produce GOES,” the company said.