On June 22, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari of an appeal by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) regarding the constitutionality of President Donald Trump’s authority to impose tariffs on steel imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The Court issued no formal statement; in declining to hear the case, the Section 232 tariffs will remain in place.
AIIS had initially challenged the constitutionality of the President’s power to implement steel tariffs under Section 232 before the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT); on March 25, 2019, the CIT rejected claims that Section 232 “constitutes an improper delegation of legislative authority in violation of Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers.” See Trump and Trade Update of March 25, 2019. In a February 2020 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit), a three-judge panel upheld the CIT’s ruling that Congress’s delegation of authority over trade does not violate the Constitution. See Trump and Trade Update of February 28, 2020.