Supreme Court Hands Trump Big Win In Steel Tariffs Case

President Trump just picked up a big win from the Supreme Court on a key tariff case. The industry group sued to stop Trump’s tariffs saying he was overreaching.

They claimed it was Congress’ job and while under the constitution they are correct, Congress has ceded some authority to the executive in this front.

From Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a challenge to President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported steel brought by an industry group that argued that a key part of the law under which he imposed the duties violates the U.S. Constitution.

The justices declined to hear the American Institute for International Steel’s appeal of a March ruling by the U.S. Court of International Trade that rejected the group’s lawsuit. The institute is a pro-free trade group that represents steel importers and users of imported steel.

Trump imposed 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% tariffs on imported aluminum in March 2018 based on national security grounds. Exemptions have been granted to Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea in exchange for quotas. Canada and Mexico were exempted in May. In response, both countries lifted their retaliatory tariffs on the United States.

The institute brought its lawsuit in June 2018, arguing that a section of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which allows presidents to impose tariffs based on national security, is unconstitutional because it delegates too much discretion to the president at the expense of Congress.

From Fox Business: The decision, which the justices did not immediately comment on Monday, will leave in place the U.S. Court of International Trade’s ruling from March that allowed the president’s tariffs.

In March 2018, Trump imposed 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent tariffs on imported aluminum. Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea were exempted from the tariffs. Canada and Mexico were also exempted starting in May, Reuters Opens a New Window.  reported. Trump cited national security as the reason to implement the tariffs under section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act.

A group of companies in the steel industry, including the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS), then filed a lawsuit last June to argue the tariffs on imported steel had violated the U.S. Constitution because section 232 was an “improper delegation of legislative authority and violates the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances established by the Constitution.”

The steel importers said Trump does not have unbounded authority under the Constitution to regulate trade — and argued the job belongs to Congress.

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