US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has opened a probe into vanadium imports, citing threats to national security.
According to a statement by Commerce this week, domestic producers, AMG Vanadium and US Vanadium, petitioned the department to launch an investigation under Sec 232, claiming that the domestic industry has been injured by unfairly traded and low-priced imports of the material amid limited export markets stemming from value-added tax regimes in countries that produce it, and China’s and Russia’s industrial policies.
According to Ross, vanadium is crucial to the US’s defense and critical infrastructure, in addition to various aerospace applications.
The metal is used to produce alloys and is used in applications requiring chemical catalysts, including in the aerospace, defense, energy, and infrastructure sectors of the US economy, which means they appear in everything from bridges to ballistic missiles.
US’s demand for vanadium is currently supplied only through imports, according to Commerce. The investigation into the imports of the material will be open to public comment until July 20, 2020.