U.S. may impose tariffs of uranium imports from Russia and Kazakhstan

U.S. may impose tariffs of uranium imports from Russia and Kazakhstan

The US plans to open an investigation into whether uranium imports are harming national security, a move that could lead to tariffs on foreign shipments of the metal, Bloomberg reports with reference to three people familiar with the matter.

U.S. uranium producers Energy Fuels Inc. and Ur-Energy Inc. filed a petition in January asking the Commerce Department to investigate the matter under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, the same provision the president used to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. U.S. industry wants the government to shield it from competition from state-owned companies in countries including Russia and Kazakhstan.

The timing of the probe remains unclear.

U.S. miners supply less than 5% of domestic consumption for the metal, and they argue it’s increasingly difficult to compete with state-subsidized companies in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. U.S. producers want about 25% of the domestic market to be reserved for American miners, which produced about 1.2 million pounds last year, the lowest in at least 25 years.

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