(WatchDogReport.org) – One of former President Donald Trump’s economic policies will continue after the Supreme Court turned down a challenge to it. The tariff on steel imports, designed to protect American steel mills, was under threat from importers who wanted to source the material cheaper from foreign countries. Now American jobs are safe — and our national security has been protected.
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 27, 2023
In 2018, Trump, worried that the decline of US steel manufacturing was a threat to our national security, imposed a 25% tariff on most of it imported from foreign nations. The import tax, introduced under a Cold War-era law, was designed to protect our ability to make our own steel in a national emergency; without that, the US could have struggled to produce weapons. Trump’s tariff made it much harder for manufacturers to import the metal more cheaply than they could buy it from US mills.
That didn’t suit everyone, of course, and a group of US and foreign businesses quickly filed a lawsuit arguing that the tariff violated the 1946 Administrative Procedures Act. When President Joe Biden kept the tariff in place, they kept pushing through the courts. In 2021, the Trade Court rejected their case. The US Court of Appeals then heard it, and also rejected it. Finally, one of the plaintiffs, USP Holdings, submitted a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court.
On March 27, the Supreme Court declined to hear USP’s appeal. No explanation was given, and no justices dissented from the decision. It’s rare to find unanimous agreement these days, but the Biden Administration has been wary of touching this particular Trump-era law. Businesses like USP — which is one of the US’ largest steel distributors and can make higher profits on cheaper foreign steel — might not like the tariff, but the unions do. Scrapping the tariff could mean steel plants closing in key states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, and Biden can’t risk wiping out jobs that were secured by Trump.
Copyright 2023, WatchDogReport.org