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The US Supreme Court has refused to hear a case that challenges President Trump’s 25pc tariffs on imported steel products.


The court rejected a petition from the American Institute of International Steel (AIIS), which represents imported steel consumers and steel importers, on Monday denoting the tariffs remain in effect. In its petition, the AIIS maintained that steel tariffs were unlawful because Section 232 violates the US constitution since it does not enforce limits on the president’s decisions.


Trump imposed 25pc duties on steel imports and 10pc duties on aluminum imports in 2018, citing national security, which is permitted under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Import duties apply to most countries including China, Japan, and the European Union. However, some countries such as Canada and Mexico, have been granted tariff exceptions.


The AIIS originally filed the lawsuit in the US Court of International Trade (CIT), which ruled in favor of the federal government. The institute then moved its petition to the federal courts, which also rejected its arguments.


The Trump administration urged the court to reject the appeal, contending that the Supreme Court has rejected a similar challenge to Section 232 in a ruling from 1976 which gives the president permission to apply such discretion.


The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) along with domestic steel producers welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the AISI said that the decision, along with prior CIT and Court of Appeals verdicts, support its belief that the opposition to Section 232 does not have merit. 


He also said that AISI was pleased with the ruling stating the complaint was a feeble attempt to ignore rising foreign import volumes, its impact on the US steel industry, and its economic risk to the nation’s security. AISI and the Steel Manufacturers Association had presented two legal documents earlier, backing the constitutionality of the Section 232 statute. 


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