The American Institute for International Steel and two U.S. steel companies have announced that they are going to court in an effort to roll back increased steel and aluminum tariffs announced earlier this year by the Trump Administration.
In imposing those tariffs, President Trump said he was acting on a January report issued by the Department of Commerce that labelled the current levels of steels imports as a threat to national security.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S Court of International Trade, contends that in the passing of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which includes the controversial Section 232 allowing the President to impose such tariffs, Congress ceded power to the executive branch unconstitutionally.
In a statement, Richard Chriss, AIIS President, said, “In addition to the totally open-ended choice of how to counter any threat that imports may present, Section 232 allows the President to consider virtually any effect on the U.S. economy as part of ‘national security.’”
The AIIS has further contended the country’s construction and transportation industries are now suffering as a result of imported steel prices that have increased by better than 50 percent in the last month.
The two other parties in the lawsuit are steel companies SIM-Tex of Waller, Texas; and Kurt Orban Partners of Burlingame, California.
The Court of International Trade was established in 1980 with the task of hearing and settling international trade and customs law disputes.
Although the focus in the tariff controversy has been the White House, Alan Morrison, an attorney for the AIIS, said in a statement that it is Congress which has proven to be the “violator of the Constitution,” in the matter.
“The President simply took advantage of the opportunity to impose his views on international trade on the American people, with nothing in the law to stop him,” said Morrison.
By Garry Boulard
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