This Morning in Metals: Federal appeals court upholds Section 232 constitutionality

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the Section 232 statute, President Donald Trump has decided not to impose tariffs on imported titanium sponge and U.S. Steel closed on the purchase of POSCO-California Corporation’s 50% interest in USS-Posco Industries.

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U.S. appeals court denies Section 232 challenge

Once again, the constitutionality of the Section 232 statute — deployed by President Trump in 2018 to apply tariffs on imported steel and aluminum — once again came before a court, this time the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In 2018, the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) filed a suit, arguing the Section 232 statute is unconstitutional; last March, the U.S. Court of International Judge rejected the challenge.

Late last week, before the federal appeals court, the Section 232 challenge was once again rejected.

“The American Institute for International Steel, Inc.; Sim-Tex, LP; and Kurt Orban Partners, LLC (collectively, AIIS) sued the United States in the United States Court of International Trade, arguing that the statute is unconstitutional on its face because the authority it confers is so unconstrained as to constitute legislative power that is Congress’s alone under Article I of the Constitution and so cannot be delegated,” the appeals court noted in the 84-page disposition filed Friday. “The Court of International Trade rejected the challenge, concluding that the issue is controlled by the portion of the Supreme Court’s Algonquin decision that declares section 232 not to violate the nondelegation doctrine. American Inst. for Int’l Steel, Inc. v. United States, 376 F. Supp. 3d 1335, 1339–45 (Ct. Int’l Trade 2019). We agree, and we therefore affirm.”

Trump decides against titanium tariffs

Meanwhile, with respect to the U.S.’s investigation covering imports of titanium sponge imports, the president has decided not to impose tariffs, Reuters reported.

According to the report, 94.4% of U.S. titanium sponge imports came from Japan in 2018.

U.S. Steel acquires ownership interest in USS-Posco Industries

U.S. Steel closed on the acquisition of POSCO-California Corporation’s 50% interest in USS-Posco Industries.

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“After a long, collaborative relationship, U. S. Steel and POSCAL concluded that ownership of UPI by a single group represents the best opportunity for UPI to continue operating effectively and serve its customers,” U.S. Steel said in a prepared statement.

“The January 23, 2020 purchase agreement regarding this transaction was previously disclosed in U. S. Steel’s February 14, 2020 10-K filing. In the interim, the partners have been working together to ensure a smooth, constructive transition. In the near term, U. S. Steel plans to operate UPI as a separate entity.”

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