Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Steel Import Tariffs

2018 tariff imposed for national security and to boost domestic manufacturing.

The Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit that sought to invalidate a 25 percent tariff on certain steel imports imposed in 2020 by former President Donald Trump. A construction supply company brought the lawsuit against the tariff, arguing that Congress needed to grant power to the president in order for the tariff to be legal.

In 2018, President Trump invoked a Cold War-era trade law that imposed a presidentially mandated 25 percent tariff on various imported steel products, expanding the tariffs in 2020 to include derivatives of steel tubes, pipes, and flat-rolled products. At the time, President Trump said that the tariffs were necessary for national security, motivating American manufacturing to rely on American steel for production rather than continuing to source overseas supplies.

The Supreme Court found the lower courts’ rulings to sufficiently explain the law. Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962 explicitly grants presidential authority for “contingency-dependent” tariffs, the tariffs must be upheld until the expressed goal, in this case rebuilding the domestic steel economy, is achieved.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for the justices of the Supreme Court as they hear and decide cases.
  • For judges in the lower federal judiciary to be led by God as their opinions often stand when appealed to higher courts.

Sources: Reuters, Law360


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