The U.S. Court of International Trade on Monday upheld the constitutionality of President Donald Trump’s use of a law that he used to impose significant tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum tariffs for national security reasons.
A group of steel importers challenged the tariffs, arguing that Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 violates a constitutional prohibition against transfer of powers. The group said the Constitution does not allow Congress to delegate its powers to the president without any “intelligible principle,“ or a set of clear standards to limit the president’s power.
The plaintiffs said Section 232 was far too open-ended and allowed the president to make a decision without any check from Congress or a requirement for judicial review. Trump has made broad use of the previously little-used statue, and is currently deciding whether to impose tariffs on auto imports for national security reasons.
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