Trump admin seeks dismissal of 232 challenge
Nov 14, 2018 | 11:06 AM
CHICAGO — The Trump administration wants the US Court of International Trade (CIT) in New York to toss out a case challenging the constitutionality of Section 232 tariffs and quotas on imported steel and aluminium.
The administration contends that President Donald Trump did not overstep his bounds by dubbing imports a threat to national security, especially given his broad powers in matters of foreign affairs, according to a motion seeking the suit’s dismissal and dated Friday November 9.
Trump was also justified in his actions because of “the close link between national security and the health of our national economy” and because of the importance of being able to domestically source materials required for national defense, the administration said.
“If the President reaches that conclusion [that imports threaten national security], the President is directed [by Congress] to take action to adjust imports,” the administration said in its motion.
Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for December 19 at 10.30am New York time at the CIT.
The court battle began when the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS), a lobbying group that represents steel traders, filed a lawsuit in June disputing the constitutionality of Section 232. The CIT agreed in September to allow a three-panel to review the case.
President Trump announced Section 232 tariffs and quotas in March. Most countries that have not agreed to quotas are subject to a tariff of 25% in the case of steel and 10% in the case of aluminium. Trump in August doubled Section 232 tariffs on Turkish steel to 50% in a dawn tweet.
US hot-rolled coil prices surged to a 2018 peak of $45.84 per hundredweight ($916.80 per ton) in July following the extension of Section 232 to Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Fastmarkets AMM's daily US Midwest Hot-Rolled Coil Index has since fallen 12.4% to $40.17 per cwt amid talk of a potential trade detente.