- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 13, 2019

President Trump has decided not to impose quotas on imports of uranium, despite a finding by the Commerce Department that U.S. reliance on foreign uranium poses a national-security threat.

“Although I agree that the secretary’s findings raise significant concerns regarding the impact of uranium imports on the national security with respect to domestic mining, I find that a fuller analysis of national security considerations with respect to the entire nuclear fuel supply chain is necessary at this time,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.

The president was facing a Saturday deadline to make a decision on the petition from two Colorado firms, Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy, who say the U.S. consumption of about 99 percent of its uranium from foreign sources is risky for the military and for the nation’s energy needs.

The announcement was an unusual example of Mr. Trump backing off the use of his executive authority to help U.S. industries, such as steel and aluminum, regain what they argue is a more level playing field.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the president’s decision.

“Any serious effort to reduce emissions and address climate change must include nuclear energy, so it is vitally important that nuclear fuel trade not be impeded,” said Christopher Guith, acting president of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute.

“That’s why the Chamber vigorously opposed efforts to impose quotas that would drive up costs and make nuclear power less competitive.”

Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said they were encouraged that Mr. Trump recognized “the significant challenges facing the American uranium mining industry” and that he has called for a working group to examine the issue over the next 90 days.

“Our two companies will stand ready to support the working group as it conducts its study,” they said in a statement.

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