Nuclear-missile commander vs. Saskatchewan premier: The debate over proposed U.S. curbs on uranium imports – by Tom Blackwell (Financial Post – October 23, 2018)

Amid the multi-pronged Trump trade wars, uranium has been largely overlooked, but any protectionist measures could undermine a major Canadian export

Brian Boner isn’t alone in applauding proposed U.S. curbs on uranium imports from foreign countries like Canada. His reasons for backing the idea, though, stand out.

As a former nuclear-missile crew commander — managing up to $5-billion worth of intercontinental atomic firepower — the Wyoming state senator says he knows the importance of a robust domestic uranium industry.

“I was responsible directly to the president for potential launch actions on anywhere from 10 to 50 ICBMs,” Boner says in comments to the U.S. Commerce Department, referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles. “An increasingly uncertain geopolitical environment requires prudence and caution, especially in these crucial matters of defending our country from its existential threat.”

His stance is shared by U.S.-based uranium companies that convinced the Trump administration to consider imposing “national-security” import quotas to encourage domestic production. Doing so would benefit Wyoming’s uranium mines.

But the majority of more than 900 written submissions filed with the department in recent months oppose the White House’s latest threat to invoke what was once a little-used trade weapon.

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