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US ITC Gives Reprive to PrimeSource Building Products from Expanded Duties on Steel Products

Steel News - Published on Wed, 19 Feb 2020

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The US Court of International Trade has issued a temporary order under which US customs agents cannot collect duties from a US company under President Donald Trump’s recently-announced expansion of steel and aluminum tariffs. PrimeSource Building Products had challenged Trump’s surprise expansion of existing tariffs to include derivative products such as steel nails and aluminum cables. It withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order after reaching an agreement with US government officials under which US Customs and Border Protection and other US government agencies agreed not to impose the duties for now.

PrimeSource Building Products Inc, a US importer of various steel derivative products, filed a complaint in the US Court of International Trade on February 4, 2020, arguing that President Donald Trump’s Proclamation No 9980 is unlawful and unconstitutional. This proclamation expanded the implementation of steel and aluminum tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and directed the secretary of commerce to adjust these tariffs to also apply to certain steel and aluminum derivatives beginning on February 8, 2020. The complainant alleges that:
The imposition of Section 232 duties on these derivative products is procedurally deficient because the Department of Commerce failed to provide reasonable notice to the public or hold public hearings and thus failed to follow statutory and regulatory procedures for a Section 232 investigation;
The implementation of these duties occurred 638 days after the statutory time period for such an action lapsed;
In providing “assessments,” “determinations” and “information” to the president on specific Harmonized Tariff System subheadings subject to additional Section 232 duties, the secretary of commerce violated all of the Section 232 statutory provisions;
PrimeSource was deprived of its Fifth Amendment due process constitutional rights; and
Section 232 is unconstitutional because it represents an unlawful delegation of legislative authority from Congress to the president.

The case is PrimeSource Building Products Inc. v. United States et al., case number 1:20-cv-00032, in the U.S. Court of International Trade.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 19 Feb 2020
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