On July 21, 2023, PrimeSource Building Products, Inc. filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, after unsuccessfully seeking an en banc hearing before all of the judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In that decision, a three-judge panel reversed a lower court decision and upheld the imposition of additional Section 232 national security tariffs on derivatives of certain imported steel articles implemented by former President Donald Trump under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The lower court, the Court of International Trade (CIT), ruled in favor of PrimeSource, a U.S. importer, which argued that President Trump’s proclamation on steel derivatives was issued after a key statutory deadline had passed that required presidential action. The Federal Circuit, however, reversed the CIT’s ruling that the government waited too long to act, stating that “the President was making a ‘contingency-dependent choice that [is] a commonplace feature of plans of action’” and that there was no “textual basis for a specific time limit.”
In its petition to the Supreme Court, PrimeSource argues that former President Trump imposed Section 232 steel tariffs on steel derivatives “without complying with the statute’s procedural prerequisites.” It wants the Supreme Court to address whether the “separation of powers principles require courts to resolve ambiguity in statutory limits on delegations of vast legislative power to the Executive in a way that constrains the delegation or, as the Federal Circuit holds, courts must uphold the President’s actions absent ‘a clear misconstruction of the governing statute.’”
Our Updates of April 27, 2023 and February 8, 2023 provide details on PrimeSource’s Petition for a Rehearing En Banc at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and on the three-judge panel’s opinion that reversed the CIT decision. See also Updates of April 6, 2021 and January 28, 2021 for additional background on the case and the CIT’s dismissal of other claims.