On December 28, 2001, the Commerce Department imposed a $210,000 civil penalty on Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation of Houston, Texas, to settle charges that it illegally exported sensitive items without Department of Commerce authorization. The agreement settled allegations that, between February 1996 and March 1999, Kaiser made 12 shipments of potassium fluoride to Jamaica and 10 shipments of high-strength aluminum rod to Israel and Taiwan without the required Department of Commerce export licenses. Potassium fluoride is a precursor for the production of toxic chemical agents. High-strength aluminum rod can be used to manufacture equipment for the enrichment of uranium. The Department of Commerce controls the export of these items to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Kaiser voluntarily disclosed the unlicensed exports of potassium fluoride but not the shipments of the aluminum rod, and cooperated fully in the investigation. As part of the settlement, $45,000 of the penalty was suspended.