January 21, 2020 / 5:41 PM / a month ago

Defying Congress, U.S. Commerce Dept won't turn over auto import probe report

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday it will not turn over a report detailing the government’s investigation into national security risks that may be posed by imported autos and parts.

Congress inserted a provision in a spending bill last month demanding the White House turn over the long-secret report that U.S. President Donald Trump used to declare in May 2019 that some unnamed imported autos pose national security risks. A person briefed on the matter said Trump had relied on a Justice Department opinion to order Commerce not to turn over the report under a Section 232 investigation. The Commerce Department said in a statement it is “not releasing the 232 autos report because releasing it now would interfere with the President’s ability to protect confidential executive branch communications and could interfere with ongoing negotiations.” (Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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