Jul 12, 2019

Trump won't issue quotas on domestic uranium

A red on yellow radiation warning sign on a former nuclear power plant at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Photo: Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is poised to announce within the next day that he is not going to issue quotas on domestic uranium production, according to multiple people familiar with the decision.

Driving the news: This move is a win for U.S. nuclear companies that use uranium as fuel and for countries that export a lot of uranium to the U.S., including Canada and Australia. It’s a loss for two U.S. uranium producers with operations in the West.

Where it stands: The two companies, Ur-Energy and Energy Fuels, cited national security concerns when they asked the Commerce Department to impose a 25% quota for domestic uranium. Right now that figure is just 7%.

The big picture: This is a departure from Trump's wide-ranging trade agenda that's pushed protectionist measures on foreign steel, solar panels and more.

Yes, but: The decision, stemming from a Commerce Department investigation, is expected to be more nuanced. The top line finding is "a no action" determination.

For the record: A White House spokesman declined to comment. A request for comment sent to the Commerce Department wasn't immediately answered. Trump's deadline to issue a decision is Saturday.

Go deeper: Nuclear energy pulled into Trump's trade wars

Go deeper