USA: Supreme Verdict Upholds Steel Tariffs
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal challenging steel tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump, reports Reuters. Texas-based PrimeSource Building Products and others had contended that these tariffs were beyond presidential authority. The Court's refusal to hear the case essentially upholds the 25% tariff on some steel products.
In a significant development, the U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to hear an appeal questioning the legality of steel import tariffs. Initiated by Irving, Texas-based PrimeSource Building Products, the appeal sought to nullify a 25% tariff on specific steel products, including nails and fasteners. These tariffs were originally imposed by former President Donald Trump on national security grounds and are now supported by President Joe Biden's administration.
Under Trump's presidency, the United States began imposing multiple layers of tariffs on steel imports in 2018. This move was based on the Commerce Department's assessment that steel imports jeopardized U.S. national security by diminishing the domestic steel industry. Trump further expanded these tariffs in 2020 to include derivatives of previously taxed steel articles.
Several companies, including PrimeSource and St. Louis-based Huttig Building Products, challenged these additional tariffs. Their argument hinged on the belief that Congress had never explicitly granted the president the authority to levy such tariffs on foreign trade.
Initially, the U.S. Court of International Trade ruled against the tariffs in 2021, stating that the White House had missed key statutory deadlines for imposing them. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit later overturned this decision in 2022. They argued that presidents do have the authority to enforce "contingency-dependent" tariffs if national security objectives remain valid.
In the past, Trump cited Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962 to impose tariffs, stating that they were vital for national security and ensuring a robust domestic steel industry. The tariffs had strained relations with multiple countries, including European allies, who subsequently imposed tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation.
The Supreme Court’s decision to reject the appeal marks another win for supporters of the tariffs, following previous instances where the Court turned down challenges to Trump's trade policies. It signifies that the existing tariffs will remain in place, continuing to affect both domestic companies and international relations.
The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to entertain the appeal essentially upholds the 25% steel tariffs initiated by Trump and maintained by Biden. This decision impacts both domestic industries that rely on steel imports and the broader landscape of international trade relations.