A U.S. court on Thursday upheld national security (“Section 232”) tariffs on foreign steel imposed by former President Donald Trump. It rejected a steel importer’s challenge to the tariffs. This is currently reported by various sources.
Court confirms: Imposed 2018 tariffs are legal
A three-judge panel in New York federal court that rules on challenges to trade measures said the tariffs, imposed in 2018, were legal under a Cold War-era national security trade law and denied a request by New Jersey importer Universal Steel Products Inc. to set them aside.
- AISI releases SIMA steel import data for January 2021
- U.S. steel importers call for end to Section 232 tariffs and quotas
Trump imposed the 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum
In early 2018, then-President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Citing Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, Trump imposed tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.
Steel importer sees no ‘imminent threat’ to national security
Universal Steel Products Inc, a New Jersey steel importer, had argued in court that the legal process for imposing the duties was “procedurally deficient” and did not specify an expiration date, that there was no “imminent threat” to U.S. national security, and that Trump exceeded his discretionary authority when he applied the duties to steel and aluminum, which are commodity products.
President has discretion in judgment
The panel of judges disagreed, writing (Source) that Section 232 “grants the President discretion to assess whether imports threaten national security. The statutory text makes clear that the list of factors to be considered in determining whether a threat exists is not exclusive.”
The American Iron and Steel Institute applauds the decision
The American Iron and Steel Institute, which represents steelmakers, and other industry groups welcomed the decision. It urged acting U.S. President Joe Biden to uphold it to protect the industry from a flood of excess global production, much of which is centered in China and has only grown since the tariffs were imposed.
“President Biden has acknowledged the importance of addressing global excess capacity, and I think he understands that these tariffs are important to national security,” said Kevin Dempsey, AISI president.
Biden signals tariffs could be maintained
Biden signaled Monday that he is likely to keep the tariffs in place when he reversed a tariff exemption on aluminum imports from the United Arab Emirates granted by Trump on his last day in office.
Maintaining the tariffs on UAE aluminum is “necessary and appropriate in light of our national security interests,” Biden said in a proclamation.
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