Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled that President Donald Trump’s imposition of 25pc tariffs on steel imports haven’t violated the US Constitution.


The tariffs were imposed exactly two years ago and led to a lawsuit from the American Institute for International Steel against the US government in the Court of International Trade (CIT). However, the CIT dismissed AIIS’s legal challenge on March 25, 2019. The institute then took the case to the US Court of Appeals, which also returned the same verdict and deemed the imposition constitutional and within the rights of the President of the United States.


Thomas J Gibson, president and chief executive officer of the American Iron and Steel Institute, lauded the Court of Appeals’ decision and said AIIS’s challenge was without merit. Moreover, he said steel importers were trying to mask the fact that surging foreign imports have stolen market share from the domestic industry, and that they even threaten national and economic security. Gibson said the Court of Appeals affirmed that Congress acted justly to adjust imports that threaten national security.


The Commerce Department began investigating steel imports in April 2017 and provided its findings and recommendations to President Trump the following January. Its report noted that steel is crucial to national security because of its use in military equipment manufacturing, as well as that a multitude of domestic steel plants have already shut down because of their inabilities to compete with decreasing steel prices, unfairly traded steel, and overcapacity worldwide. The tariffs were then imposed on steel exporters shipping their material to the US.

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