Democrats fault administration’s process in 232 probes, request briefings ‘immediately’

Democratic lawmakers, troubled by what they view as a lack of transparency and “due process” in the administration’s reviews of whether steel and aluminum imports are harming national security, are demanding briefings on both Section 232 investigations “immediately.”

[Jenny Leonard] June 20th [Inside Trade]

“It is troubling that to date the Administration has not briefed the Committees with jurisdiction over trade matters on either investigation or responded to several individual Member requests for briefings,” the lawmakers state in a June 20 letter — spearheaded by Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways & Means ranking member Richard Neal (D-MA) — to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“In that regard, we request that you immediately brief Committee staff on these matters and respond to all Member requests for individual briefings prior to making a decision,” the lawmakers continue. “Going forward, we urge you to redouble your efforts at engagement with the Congress on these matters of vital importance to the nation.”

Commerce officials were initially slated to brief committee staff last week on the administration’s 232 steel report but those briefings had to be canceled twice due to what sources described as interagency differences on the approach and scope of the investigation.

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