U.S. trade court finds tariffs on steel imports did not violate Section 232

U.S. trade court

The U.S. Court of International Trade issued an order finding that a presidential proclamation (and successor proclamations) imposing a 25% tariff on imports of steel articles from various countries did not violate Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, and granted the government’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.


Then-President Trump from March 2018 to May 2019 issued a series of proclamations, the first of which was Proclamation 9705 that imposed a 25% tariff on imports of steel articles from certain countries. The president declared in Proclamation 9705 that the tariffs were being imposed as a national security measure.

U.S. corporations that were importers of steel articles challenged the proclamation and the tariffs on steel imports as violating the statute (in part because the proclamations did not set the duration of the tariffs). The U.S. trade court, however, concluded that Proclamation 9705 (and its subsequent modifications) did not violate Section 232 and granted the government’s motion to dismiss.

The case is: Universal Steel Products, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. No. 21-12 (CIT February 4, 2021). Read the court’s opinion and order [PDF 754 KB] (40 pages) that includes an opinion that concurs in part and dissents in part.

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