The Supreme Court Monday declined to hear a case challenging President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs on Monday, thereby letting stand a previous lower-court ruling that sided with the executive branch.
In the case of American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) et al vs. United States, the pro-free trade organization and two of its member companies sued to stop the 25 percent steel tariffs that the administration put in place back in March 2018, citing national security concerns.
“Economic vitality, growth, and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad,” read a statement from the White House accompanying the 2018 announcement.
The lawsuit was presented as a challenge to the president’s trade powers under section under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and cited “irreparable and ongoing harm to petitioner AIIS’s members and to countless other companies and individuals who have sustained losses from the reduction in imports of steel products and domestic price increases resulting from the order.”
Back in March of this year, the U.S. court of International Trade ruled against AIIS and company, saying that the law indeed grants the president power to enact tariffs for national security reasons, per section 232, and that the court lacked the authority to second-guess those powers.
“To be sure, section 232 regulation plainly unrelated to national security would be, in theory, reviewable as action in excess of the President’s section 232 authority,” the three-judge panel wrote. “However, identifying the line between regulation of trade in furtherance of national security and an impermissible encroachment into the role of Congress could be elusive in some cases because judicial review would allow neither an inquiry into the President’s motives nor a review of his fact-finding.”
The Supreme Court provided no opinion to accompany the Monday court order denying the case petition.