US Court of Appeals upholds CIT decision to maintain Section 232 tariffs

Friday, 28 February 2020 21:30:27 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

The Court of Appeals for the US Federal Circuit denied Friday a request to revoke Section 232 tariffs, finding that the law used to impose the levies did not violate the US Constitution. The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) brought a lawsuit to the US Court of International Trade (CIT) soon after the tariffs were implemented, alleging Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act ceded congressional authority over trade to the executive branch with no limitations.

In March 2019, The AIIS lost the lawsuit, moving the process to the Court of Appeals. At the time, the association said in a statement that despite the court’s decision, it was “heartened” that one of the CIT’s judges wrote in a separate opinion that “it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the statute has permitted the transfer of power to the President in violation of the separation of powers.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), in conjunction with the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), submitted an “amicus curiae” brief in the case in support of the constitutionality of the Section 232 statute. 

The AISI issued a statement Friday in response to the Appeals Court decision:

“Today the Court of Appeals rightly affirmed our strong belief, and the previous decision of the Court of International Trade, that the constitutional challenge to the Section 232 statute is without merit.  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.  The Court today affirmed that Congress acted within its constitutional authority when it authorized the president to take action to adjust imports that threaten to impair our national security.  We have consistently maintained this fact and are pleased that the Court of Appeals agreed.”

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