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Appeals Court rules Trump didn't overstep the mark with 25pc steel tariff

THE US federal court affirmed an earlier decision by the Court of International Trade, that found President Donald Trump did not violate the US constitution when he introduced a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports in March 2018

04 March 2020 - 19:00
THE US federal court affirmed an earlier decision by the Court of International Trade, that found President Donald Trump did not violate the US constitution when he introduced a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports in March 2018.

In June 2018, the Alexandria, Virginia-based American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) sued the US government in the Court of International Trade, arguing that the president had overstepped his authority by imposing tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, reported American Shipper.



The Court of International Trade rejected AIIS's challenge on March 25 2019, concluding that the matter is controlled by the Supreme Court's 1976 decision, Fed Energy Admin V Algonquin SNG, Inc, which said congressional approval is not required to impose Section 232 tariffs.



The Commerce Department opened a Section 232 investigation into the impact of steel imports on US national security in April 2017. In January 2018, the department provided its findings to the president, along with recommendations.



In the report, the Commerce Department found that steel plays a vital role to national security in terms of weapons and military equipment manufacturing and many domestic steel plants had already been driven out of business by 'declining steel prices, global overcapacity, and unfairly traded steel'.



On the advice of the Commerce Department, Mr Trump slapped a 25 per cent tariff on steel articles from all countries, with the exception of Mexico and Canada, starting March 23, 2018.



AIIS attempted to appeal the Court of International Trade's decision to the Supreme Court, but the justices declined to hear the case and the institute's appeal was referred to the Appeals Court of the Federal Circuit.



'This lawsuit by steel importers is a weak attempt to mask the fact that surging foreign imports have severely impacted the domestic steel industry and threaten our national and economic security,' said AISI president Thomas Gibson in a statement.


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