Setback for Trump on Trade — US Court of Int’l Trade & Turkish Steel Imports.

The US Court of International Trade today declared that the Trump administration’s additional tariffs on import of Turkish steel under Section 232 (National Security) were invalid. They failed to fall within the statutory period of action.

The larger story is this is the first time for such a determination that there was a procedural violation under Section 232.

This amounts to a small but significant advance of the growing attack on the President’s use of national security as a basis for tariffs and as a possible violation of separation of powers.

The court stated forcefully that a tariff cannot be irrational with no bearing on national security. And this is judicially reviewable. The court cited the earlier 2019 Circuit Court case concerning the steel importer’s association (AIIS).

This current case comes along within the larger context of a movement in Congress to scale back the president’s authority to use national security and other trade actions unilaterally. Focusing on a return of such trade powers to the Congress.

Click to access 20-98.pdf

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
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