It reads like a low-rent soap-opera.
Apparently, the Nuclear Working Group is still at it! Juan Bolton, the former Co-Chair, stepped down last month, and now it is being suggested he might even be considering testifying against El Presidente Trump in impeachment proceedings being driven by the Partido Democrático.
The Working Group was not ready on 10th October 2019, so El Presidente gave them more time. However, there was no official announcement from the White House on this extension of time. A spokesperson for the Dept. of Commerce (and a couple of other lower-level Department of Energy and other agency officials) publicly stated the extension was for 30 days (until this past Sunday, 10th November 2019). However, that date came and went with no official announcement.
I’ll stop with the Spanish soap-opera analogy because this is confusing enough.
So what’s happening? No-one is saying.
It is possible that certain members of the Working Group (like the Departments of Commerce and Energy) were working on the assumption of a 30-day extension, but there was no official revised timeline. It is also possible the Nuclear Working Group members were given a 30-day extension to complete their work and deliver their comments and recommendations to the Working Group Chairmen (Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow and National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien (formerly John Bolton)) by 10th November 2019.
There’s also a possibility (we don’t know) the report has already been delivered to the President, and they made no public announcement. It wouldn’t be out of the question to get no announcement since the report likely deals with sensitive national security and foreign policy issues. Lastly, the impeachment circus may be delaying things, as several of the agencies on the Working Group are involved in some of those issues.
There have been a couple of “Freedom of Information Act” (FOIA) requests to have the US Dept. of Commerce release the Section 232 report to the public; it’s something of a court case against the Dept. of Commerce. We found a recent court order in one of those cases in which the court declined to make the Section 232 report public because the Dept. of Commerce believed the Nuclear Working Group would be sending their report to the President on 14th November 2019. Now, this is the Dept. of Commerce’s belief – and they are only one part of the process right now. So, it would be unwise to put too much stock in this. However, the more optimistic uranium equities investor might surmise they’re not in for an interminable delay. Or not!
All that said, we think the uranium and nuclear fuel issue is a priority for the US government. Everything we’re hearing makes us believe something is coming, but many of the things we’re hearing might be classified as rumours, and there is often a lot of misinformation that comes out of the government.
So, this has been a rather a long way of saying “we really won’t know, until we know.” The Nuclear Working Group is just providing recommendations to the President (as with the Section 232, where Dept. of Commerce recommended supporting the uranium industry); Trump may not accept or act on his agencies’ recommendations.
The believers in the uranium macro story are all optimistic, but we also need to be realistic. Even industry figures and fund managers have gone silent on the topic. Us retail investors will just have to wait and see what happens.
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