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Trump administration to investigate uranium imports

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross speaks at the SelectUSA 2018 Investment Summit on June 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has opened an investigation into whether U.S. dependence on uranium imports poses a threat to national security.

Why it matters: Domestic production of uranium, which is a key resource for both nuclear weapons and the nuclear reactors that power 20% of the American electric grid, have dropped from 49% of total uranium requirements in 1987 to 5% today. The investigation could ultimately result in new tariffs at a moment when more than half of America's nuclear reactors are losing money, according to Bloomberg.