September is brewing for Congress to limit the Presidents abuse of tariff privileges

 September is brewing for Congress to limit the Presidents abuse of tariff privileges

In the case of the International Iron and Steel Association of the United States v. the U.S. Government in which the use of the discretion of Article 232 was so extensive that it was unconstitutional, the Iron and Steel Association held a hearing in the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on 9 August, in which it again pointed out that the Presidents use of Article 232 was unconstitutional.

The lawyer predicted that if the Trump administration continued to use Section 232 to impose further significant import restrictions, especially on the import of finished cars (i.e. auto tariffs), the legislative plan would gain momentum.

Congress has long wanted to limit the presidents tariff power

Since the second half of 2018, the United States Congress has long brewed counter-measures against the repeated use of Article 232 by the Trump Administration to issue tariff threats to many economies around the world in the name of national security.

Its landmark event was a non-binding bill approved by the U.S. Senate on July 11, 2018, which supports Congress in playing a greater role in tariff decisions involving national security. Although it is considered a symbolic resolution, it still reflects that the U.S. Congress has begun to restrict the Presidents abuse of tariff policies. The consensus was reached.

According to the incomplete statistics of the First Financial Journalist, in the past year, U.S. Congressmen have proposed 14 bills to restrict the power of U.S. presidents in trade. Among them, there are three main proposals: First, Amendment of Article 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act will authorize the U.S. Department of Defense rather than the Department of Commerce to issue it. Start 232 Survey.

Finally, any future U.S. presidents decision to impose tariffs on the basis of Article 232 requires more oversight by Congress, but without congressional approval.

Grassley-Wyden, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, is expected to eventually come up with a bipartisan version, Grassley-Wyden said.

Grassley also said that his current version was a compromise between the two proposals, which included Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, covering the three directions mentioned above.

To reduce the Trump governments rebound on the proposal, Grassley has repeatedly pointed out that Congress has given too many powers to the President over the years. Far-reaching policy decisions such as tariff collection should still be made by elected representatives. The power imbalance between the executive and legislative branches has overshadowed the Presidents power. Out of the scope of the Constitution, although not created by the current President, it has evolved over the past 80 years. Its not about Trump, its about balance of power.

You can also imagine the Presidents feelings about tariffs. He may not like it very much, so I hope to get a strong vote in my committee and then a strong vote in the Senate, Glasley said.

The aforementioned lawyer pointed out to the First Financial Journalist that at present, there are also heavyweights in the legal and theoretical circles of the United States reflecting on this issue. The lawyer referred to a recent article published by Jennifer Hillman, a legal authority of the United States World Trade Organization (WTO) and a former Justice of the Appellate Body of the WTO.

In this article, Hillman points out that the Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to impose tariffs or taxes on imports. It is undeniable that Congress has submitted a large number of tariff collection powers to the President over the years, but Trump seems to have ignored some important restrictions. For example, when imposing tariffs, the usual practice is to give economic reasons and expertsassessment of economic damage.

She also mentioned that Congress could now take action to regain control. The most fundamental way is to change the laws that delegate broad tariff powers to the President, including Section 301, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the International Emergency Economic Power Act and the Anti-Enemy Trade Act of 1917.

Hillman pointed out that each of these laws should be changed, with restrictions on the time, quantity and duration of unilateral tariffs imposed by the President.

While Congress is preparing legislation, a case with indicative significance for the use of Article 232 is still in the judicial process.

According to the American International Iron and Steel Association, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act 1962 stipulates that it is unconstitutional to cede some legislative powers of Congress to the President because it lacks clear principles to limit presidential powers.

To this end, in the summer of 2018, the International Iron and Steel Association of the United States jointly filed a lawsuit with the United States Court of International Trade against two of its member enterprises, arguing that Section 232, on which the Trump Administration imposed tariffs on imported steel products, was unconstitutional and demanding that the court order the suspension of the above-mentioned steel tariffs.

At that time, the International Iron and Steel Association of the United States took the unusual step of directly asking the Supreme Court to review the ruling of the International Trade Court, thus circumventing the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeal, but in the absence of an appeal court ruling, the United States Supreme Court usually seldom hears federal cases.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the lawsuit, and then the case went back to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. As mentioned earlier, the case has now been reopened.

Once the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal decides, it is expected that the losing party will ask the Supreme Court to review the decision. He pointed out.

Source: First Financial Responsibility Editor: Guo Chenqi_NBJ9931