Articles in Category: Public Policy

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This morning in metals news, Brazilian miner Vale SA reported its Q1 2019 production totals, ArcelorMittal is idling mills in Europe and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum questioned Interior Secretary David Bernhardt regarding plans to advance copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota.

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Vale SA Reports Q1 Output

Brazilian miner Vale SA reported its Q1 iron ore output and sales figures this week, showing sharp declines in both.

In late January, a dam breach at a Vale mine in Brumadinho left hundreds dead and hobbled production amid review of safety conditions at other mines; as such, the iron ore price has soared in the ensuing months.

Vale reported iron ore fines production of 72.9 million tons in Q1, down 28% from the previous quarter and down 11% from Q1 2018.

Meanwhile, iron ore fines and pellet sales volume reached 67.7 million tons, which marked a 30% drop from Q4 2018 and a 20% drop from Q1 2018.

ArcelorMittal Idles European Mills

Earlier this week, steelmaker ArcelorMittal announced plans to temporarily idle steelmaking production at its Krakow, Poland facilities and reduce production in Asturias, Spain.

“In addition, the planned increase of shipments at ArcelorMittal Italia to a six million tonne annual run-rate will be slowed down following a decision to optimise cost and quality over volume in this environment,” ArcelorMittal said.

“Together, these actions will result in a temporary annualised production reduction of around three million tonnes.”

U.S. Rep. Questions Interior Secretary Over Minnesota Mining Plans

During a budget hearing this week, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum questioned Interior Secretary David Bernhardt over plans to advance copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota Democrat raised concerns about the impacts of sulfide ore mining on public lands, referring to the proposed mining plans raise by Twin Metals Minnesota and mine owner Antofagasta.

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McCollum questioned Bernhardt about the status of documents related to the Trump administration’s reversal of an Obama administration decision to terminate Twin Metals’ federal mining leases and cancel a two-year study into the potential impacts of copper-nickel mining in the Superior National Forest on nearby wilderness areas.

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Not surprisingly, the most alarmist headlines were run by the most biased of news channels: the BBC.

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Long advocates of left-wing sympathies, the Beeb — as the BBC is affectionately known in the UK — has for many years also been leading the charge on environmental issues. Not that we have any problem with having an environmental conscience — anyone watching the rapid the bleaching of the world’s barrier reefs can’t help but feel a part of themselves die in the process — but we would much rather see the BBC reporting on sound scientific data than listen to them pushing one political angle, like some mogul-backed, partisan media outlet.

So when a BBC article shouts “UK Parliament declares climate change emergency” you expect it is possibly hyperbole. What does the statement even mean, you may ask. Are we about to be inundated by a monsoon, fry in a heatwave, be washed away in a tsunami or blown away in a typhoon?

Apparently desperate to address something other than Brexit, the British government appears likely to commit the U.K. to an even tougher carbon emissions target than it already has — indeed, tougher than any other major economy in the world.

According to the Financial Times, the proposals build on the 2008 Climate Change Act, which targeted reducing emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. The U.K. is on track to achieve this, having made steady progress in the interim with emission levels falling more than 40% over the last 29 years.

But the last 20% will be the hardest if the U.K. seeks to achieve zero emissions. The rest of Europe has signed up to similar targets, but exempted certain key industries (such as agriculture, aviation and shipping).

True zero emissions represent a significant challenge, whatever politicians may say.

It will require a sweeping overhaul of energy use from homes to transport to even what we eat. It involves a pledge to phase out diesel and electric cars by 2040, quadruple energy supplies from low-carbon sources such as renewables and supplement a hydrogen economy where natural gas is currently used (80% of British homes are reliant on natural gas for heating and/or cooking).

Heavy carbon-emitting industries will have to adopt carbon capture technology, which has to date proved less than satisfactory and expensive to operate. Nevertheless, the government has already invested some limited funds in pilot projects and has undertaken to do more.

The tough ones will be aviation (an alternative to fossil-fueled jet engines is a long way off), shipping (which is moving to 0.5% low sulfur fuel but still remains a massive source of carbon emissions) and agriculture, which is probably the worst offender.

There is no known trick of science that stops a cow breaking wind and little that can be done about the acres of corn that need to be cultivated to feed that cow. The Committee on Climate Change acknowledges one of the biggest and hardest changes will be to humans’ diets. More plant-based and less animal- and fish-based protein would have a profound impact on carbon emissions but will take a fundamental shift in the wider population’s habits.

Still, some trends are in favor of the needed changes.

Electric cars are predicted to be cheaper to buy and run than petrol- or diesel-fueled vehicles by 2030 (if not before). Wind power is already said to be cheaper than natural gas, the Financial Times says, providing storage costs to achieve continuity are subsidized, but even that may cease to be necessary as battery technology improves and wind turbine costs continue to fall.

The committee’s report suggests the changes needed, spread over the next 20-30 years, need not be onerous or disruptive to growth; indeed, they may present significant opportunities for new technologies and for the industries that exploit these opportunities.

Whether the world has 30 years, none of us knows. The U.N. says we could have just 12 years to effect change before we reach a point of no return; they may, like the BBC, be trying to promote a project fear agenda to effect change (we really don’t know).

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In the meantime enterprising firms have the opportunity to develop new products and services to meet what is already becoming a relentless process of change.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

One of India’s premier industrial representative bodies, the nonprofit Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has expressed concern over the drop in mining concessions being awarded every year.

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In a presentation to Niti Aayog, a policy think tank of the Government of India (GoI), the Chamber called for the government to “expedite” auctions of mineral blocks, reported. The FICCI pointed out that the average of such sales had come down to 15 mines annually today, compared with the 300-400 mineral concessions given prior to 2015.

As part of reforms and in the interest of mining sector transparency, the Indian Parliament passed the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Amendment Bill in 2015. The Indian government claimed this had removed the arbitrariness seen earlier in such auctions.

FICCI said although the 2015 act does grant the winner of the mineral block with sub-surface mineral rights, the company had to face a lot of red tape to seek the surface rights and obtain necessary statutory clearances. This was a hindrance in converting successful auctions into production on the ground.

Citing unnamed sources, reported officials from Rio Tinto, Tata Steel, Vedanta and the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) also were part of the presentation.

The mining sector of India had already been demanding further reforms, including the implementation of a “One Tax Regime” in mineral production along the lines of GST, with the effective taxation rate (ETR) capped at 40%, the Hellenic Shipping News reported.

A few days ago, Niti Aayog itself set up a high level committee to look at ways and means of boosting mining in the country, according to CNBC-TV18 reported.

Mining contributes about 2% to India’s GDP, but some in India claim it could go up to as much as 10%.

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In FY 2018, for example, India’s import bill hit U.S. $465 billion, of which $126 billion, or 27%, consisted of metals and minerals alone.

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This morning in metals news, the copper price got a boost from optimism stemming from the resumption of trade discussions between the world’s top two economies, the CEO of Australia’s Fortescue was bullish about the Chinese steel sector and British Steel received a £100 million government loan.

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Copper Price Picks Up

As it has been wont to do throughout the U.S.-China trade talk saga, the copper price was supported by Wednesday’s restart of trade talks in Beijing between the two economic superpowers.

Three-month LME copper moved up 0.2% Wednesday to $6,426 per ton, Reuters reported.

Fortescue CEO Optimistic About Chinese Steel Production

While some economic indicators suggest the Chinese economy is slowing down, China’s steel sector does not appear to be following that trend, according to Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines.

Fortescue is one of the world’s largest iron ore producers. In 2018, China posted a record 928.3 million tons of crude steel production.

“When it comes to China, what we’ve really seen, particularly in that first quarter, is strong growth in steel production,” Gaines said while appearing on CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

Gaines added that based on conversations with customers in China, she expects steel production growth in China to come in at 3-4% this year.

British Steel Gets £100M Loan

The BBC reported British Steel has secured a £100 million loan from the government to pay off its E.U. carbon bill.

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As the report notes, amid Brexit uncertainty, the European Commission last year opted to suspend U.K. firms’ access to free carbon permits — which can be used to pay for emissions bill or can be traded to raise money — under the E.U. emissions trading system.

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The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual Section 301 report late last week, covering intellectual property protection by U.S. trading partners and its so-called Notorious Markets List.

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The Trump administration utilized Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to impose heavy duties on Chinese goods last year, to the tune of $250 billion worth of imports. The move came on the heels of long-standing U.S. criticism of what it sees as China’s unfair trade practices, including forced technology transfer and intellectual property violations, among others. (China retaliated last year with $110 billion worth in tariffs on U.S. goods.)

“The Special 301 Report identifies trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to U.S. innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights,” a USTR release stated.

According to the release, countries presenting the “most significant concerns regarding IP rights” are placed on either the Priority Watch List or Watch List. In total, the report identifies 36 countries qualifying for inclusion on either of the two lists.

The countries listed under Priority Watch were: Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Meanwhile, the Watch List included: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

“These trading partners will be the subject of increased bilateral engagement with USTR to address IP concerns,” the USTR release stated. “Specifically, over the coming weeks, USTR will review the developments against the benchmarks established in the Special 301 action plans for countries that have been on the Priority Watch List for multiple years. For such countries that fail to address U.S. concerns, USTR will take appropriate actions, such as enforcement actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act or pursuant to World Trade Organization or other trade agreement dispute settlement procedures, necessary to combat unfair trade practices and to ensure that trading partners follow through with their international commitments.”

The full Section 301 report can be read here.

The report also features a Notorious Markets List, which includes markets “reported to engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.” The report identifies 33 online markets and 25 physical markets under the Notorious Markets List.

“This activity harms the American economy by undermining the innovation and intellectual property rights of U.S. IP owners in foreign markets,” the USTR said. “An estimated 2.5 percent, or nearly half a trillion dollars’ worth, of global imports are counterfeit and pirated products.”

The physical markets section of the report highlights China’s role in the distribution of counterfeit products.

“As in past years, several commenters continue to identify China as the primary source of counterfeit products,” the Notorious Markets List report states. “Together with Hong Kong, through which Chinese merchandise often transships, China accounted for 78 percent of the value (measured by manufacturer’s suggested retail price) and 87 percent of the seizures by CBP in 2017.

“Some Chinese markets, particularly in larger cities, have adopted policies and procedures intended to limit the availability of counterfeit merchandise. However, these policies are not widely adopted and enforcement 32 remains inconsistent.”

The full report on the Notorious Markets list, including full listings for each online and physical market, can be found here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement on the heels of the USTR’s release of the special report, calling global IP laws “under-developed” despite “steps in the right direction.”

“Despite steps in the right direction, overall global IP laws remain under-developed, denying cutting-edge American businesses a return of fair value on their innovations and creativity, and leaving many countries unprepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of a 21st century knowledge economy,” said Patrick Kilbride, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s senior vice president of the Global Innovation Policy Center, said in a prepared statement. “Lack of enforcement to protect copyright rights-holders; misuse of competition enforcement; price controls; compulsory licenses; and undermining IP protections through multilateral organizations favor domestic commercial interests at the expense of innovators, creators, and consumers around the world.”

Kilbride also highlighted the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), saying the “USMCA and the forthcoming FTAs provide an opportunity to strengthen IP protections around the world.”

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“We applaud the negotiation team on the completion of the USMCA and urge Members of Congress to recognize the benefits of the agreement,” Kilbride added. “GIPC benchmarked the USMCA against the IP standards included in the U.S. Chamber’s International IP Index. The research reveals a significant improvement from the original NAFTA, which scored a mere 48 percent while the USMCA scored 80 percent.”

The USMCA must be approved by each country’s legislature before the agreement can go into effect.

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This morning in metals news, iron ore shipments into China picked up in March after February’s 10-month low, India’s top court blocked ArcelorMittal’s attempt to buy the bankrupt Essar Steel and the E.U. opened the door to formal trade negotiations with the U.S.

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China’s Iron Ore Import Levels Rise in March

With winter production curbs winding down in China, imports of the steelmaking material iron ore picked up in March, Reuters reported.

China imported 86.42 million tons of iron ore in March, up from 83.08 million tons in February.

Indian Supreme Court Blocks ArcelorMittal’s Bid to Buy Essar Steel

India’s National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in early March gave the OK to ArcelorMittal’s plans to buy the bankrupt Essar Steel, thus allowing the former to enter the Indian market.

However, India’s Supreme Court had other ideas.

The Economic Times reported the country’s high court superseded the NCLT approval by ordering a halt to ArcelorMittal payments to buy the debt-laden Essar Steel.

E.U. Gives Initial OK Toward Initiation of Formal Trade Talks with U.S.

As the Trump administration this week announced it is considering imposing $11 billion worth of tariffs on a wide range of imports from the E.U., European countries gave the green light in the process to initiate formal trade talks with the U.S., Reuters reported.

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According to the report, two mandates have been put forth (still requiring final approval): cutting tariffs on industrial goods and “making it easier to show products meet E.U. or U.S. standards.”

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India’s continued emphasis on coal-based power plants has drawn flak from Greenpeace India and other agencies.

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A report released jointly by Global Energy Monitor, Greenpeace India and the Sierra Club  said the Indian government continued to support thermal power plants when they were being cut down elsewhere in the world.

Little love is lost between the present dispensation in India and Greenpeace.

Since the 2014 election of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government was elected din 2014, it has come down against Greenpeace’s climate campaign that concentrated on coal mining and thermal power generation. In fact, the internationally-known NGO was also labeled “anti-national” for opposing coal mining in Central India forests. In addition, its accounts were frozen twice and its license to operate was revoked.

The report, titled “Boom and Bust 2019: Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline” said there was a 20% drop in newly completed coal plants, a 39% fall in new construction and a 24% cut in plants in pre-construction activity, year on year.

Yet, despite such “unfavorable market conditions for coal power,” the Indian government persisted with investments in new coal-fired plants, The Business Standard report quoted Pujarini Sen of Greenpeace India as saying.

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The mandate for the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity (GFSEC), an organization that has come in for criticism from the U.S., expires in November.

However, the European Steel Association (EUROFER) argues the forum, which has focused on creating policies to tackle global excess capacity, should have its mandate extended.

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EUROFER released a statement ahead of a meeting of the GFSEC March 28-29, calling for the extension of its mandate (scheduled to expire in November).

“We call on members of the Global Forum to agree on a continuation of the forum’s mandate beyond November 2019,” EUROFER Director General Axel Eggert said in a prepared statement. “Continued international work on excess capacity and related government support measures would contribute to the sustainability of our global industry.”

Steel excess capacity — which drives down prices and consequently floods markets with cheap product — has been a consistent talking point among steel circles in Europe and the U.S. As most are aware, the U.S. last year imposed tariffs on imported steel.

China, the world’s top steel producer, is often the target of complaints vis-a-vis overcapacity. China’s crude steel production has increased the last couple of years, from 807.6 million tons in 2016 to 870.9 million tons in 2017, then reaching a record 928.3 million tons in 2018.

Source: World Steel Association

The GFSEC was formed in September 2016 by G20 leaders at a Hangzhou summit.

“GFSEC’s work has already produced results, such as detailed statistics on steel capacity and production around the world and has instigated work to cut excess capacity where it is needed most,” Eggert added in his statement.

In late 2017, the 33 members of the GFSEC met and agreed to a set of six guiding principles for the creation of specific policies to combat overcapacity (the full report from the meeting is available here).

According to a release from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the principles “emphasize the importance of having the right policy framework conditions; they call for the removal of subsidies and other measures that distort steel markets; they stress the need for a level playing field among steel enterprises of all types of ownership; they highlight the importance of the Forum regularly updating its information on capacity and policy measures.”

Nonetheless, EUROFER said the agreement and steps taken since then mark only the “beginning of the process.”

“Global steel overcapacity is still at least 550 million tonnes, according to the OECD,” Eggert said. “We are still very much at the beginning of the process, and there is clearly a need for the GFSEC’s mandate to be extended.”

Furthermore, Eggert argued not extending the mandate would be dangerous.

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“In a world where global overcapacity is still very much present – and with proliferating trade distortions – there is a greater need than ever for the GFSEC,” Eggert said. “Not renewing the mandate of the Global Forum would mean abandoning the global steel industry when it is still at a perilous juncture. Effective multilateral cooperation is needed in order to preserve fair and free trade in this essential sector.”

The GFSEC came in for criticism from the U.S. last year following a meeting of members September 20, 2018, in Paris.

“Unfortunately, what we have seen to date leaves us questioning whether the Forum is capable of delivering on these objectives,” the Office of the United States Trade Representative said in a prepared statement following the meeting. “We do not see an equal commitment to the process from all Forum members. Commitments to provide timely information critical to the proper functioning of the Forum’s work, for example, have gone unfulfilled. More importantly, we have yet to see any concrete progress toward true market-based reform in the economies that have contributed most to the crisis of excess capacity in the steel sector.”

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This morning in metals news, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is leading a bipartisan effort to change how Section 232 works, the OECD Steel Committee warns of a worsening global steel glut and U.S.-China trade talks will resume Thursday.

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Section 232 Reform

As we noted earlier this week, a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the president’s Section 232 powers was struck down in the U.S. Court of International Trade (the plaintiffs in the case said they will appeal the ruling).

However, that doesn’t mean others aren’t considering changes to Section 232, part of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which affords the president the authority to adjust import levels if a certain product is deemed injurious to national security.

As we mentioned earlier this week, members of Congress have discussed reforming the Section 232 process. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is also chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is among those looking to change the process

“The U.S. Constitution gives Congress alone the job of regulating commerce with foreign nations,” Grassley said in a prepared statement. “During the height of the Cold War, Congress delegated sweeping power to the executive branch to adjust imports on the basis of national security. That was understandable given the era, but the benefit of time and experience has proven our Founders right in tasking Congress with authority over tariffs.

“Congress should take back some of this delegation of its Constitutional authority and rebalance trade powers between the two branches in a responsible way that doesn’t impede a president’s ability to protect America’s national security. I would like to work with the Ranking Member and my colleagues to find a path forward that can receive broad, bipartisan support.”

According to the release, details on a bill aimed at reforming the Section 232 process are expected in the coming weeks.

As for Section 232, Saturday, March 23 marked the one-year anniversary of the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

New Plants Could Exacerbate Steel Glut

According to the OECD’s Steel Committee, if some countries bring new steel plants online, global steel oversupply could get even worse, Reuters reported.

According to the report, supply exceeded demand by 425.5 million metric tons in 2018.

Trade Talks Pick Up

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are scheduled to resume Thursday, but reported expectations of the timeline for a deal continue to get pushed back.

According to a CNBC report, Charles Dallara, Partners Group chairman of the Americas, said a deal is more likely for late May or June.

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“If we move into that time frame, I think some understandings will be reached and I think that will be a critical step forward,” he told CNBC.

The Trump administration scored a trade win in a ruling by the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) on Monday, as the three-judge panel rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the Section 232 statute that yielded duties on imported steel and aluminum last year.

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The Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports last year rocked the metals world. The tariffs came about pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which affords the president the authority to adjust import levels of certain products if they are deemed injurious to the U.S.’s national security.

Ultimately, the Trump administration imposed duties of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum imports, respectively. In addition, the Trump administration last year launched a Section 232 probe vis-a-vis imports of automobiles and automotive parts, a case which is still pending (last month, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross submitted a report to the president related to the probe, as mandated by the statute).

Members of Congress in recent months have put forth bills calling for the limitation of the president’s authority over Section 232.

Well before that, however, in June 2018 the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) — and two of its member companies, Sim-Tex, LP, of Waller, Texas, and Kurt Orban Partners, of Burlingame, California — filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the president’s Section 232 authority.

“Unlike most cases brought against actions of the Trump administration, it is Congress—through its delegation of unfettered discretion to the President in this statute—and not the President that is the violator of the Constitution,” said Alan Morrison, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, last year. “The President simply took advantage of the opportunity to impose his views on international trade on the American people, with nothing in the law to stop him.” 

However, the three-member CIT panel ultimately ruled differently in its opinion Monday, denying the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and arguing Congress’ delegation of the authority vested in Section 232 marked an appropriate delegation of an “intelligible principle.”

The opinion cites a 1928 case, J.W. Hampton, Jr., and Co. v. United States, which established that “[i]f Congress shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized to fix such rates is directed to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power.”

In addition, the “intelligible principle” concept established, in these cases, the president as  “the mere agent of the law-making department.” In other words, the president is, in theory, the conduit for the will of Congress.

The opinion continued, noting that “no act has been struck down as lacking an intelligible principle” since 1935 (prior to that year, two statutes had been revoked on grounds they lacked such a principle).

The plaintiffs pointed to the 1976 case Fed. Energy Admin. v. Algonquin SNG, Inc. — related to imports of foreign petroleum — in which Section 232 was also the point of contention, arguing “the legal landscape of judicial review of presidential decisions involving implementation of federal statutes has changed markedly” since that ruling.

In the Algonquin case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Federal Energy Administration, arguing that even if Section 232 “is read to authorize the imposition of a license fee system, the standards that it provides the President in its implementation are clearly sufficient to meet any delegation doctrine attack.”

In an opinion by Judges Claire R. Kelly and Jennifer Choe Graves, the judges acknowledged the gray areas living within the statute but ultimately leaned on the precedent of Algonquin.

“One might argue that the statute allows for a gray area where the President could invoke the statute to act in a manner constitutionally reserved for Congress but not objectively outside the President’s statutory authority, and the scope of review would preclude the uncovering of such a truth,” the judges argued. “Nevertheless, such concerns are beyond this court’s power to address, given the Supreme Court’s decision in Algonquin, 426 U.S. at 558–60.”

Judge Gary S. Katzmann also agreed to reject the plaintiffs’ case, but in a separate opinion expressed reservations and left the door open for future consideration of the issue.

“In the end, I conclude that, as my colleagues hold, we are bound by Algonquin, and thus I am constrained to join the judgment entered today denying the Plaintiffs’ motion and granting the Defendants’ motion,” Katzmann wrote. “I respectfully suggest, however, that the fullness of time can inform understanding that may not have been available more than forty years ago. We deal now with real recent actions, not hypothetical ones. Certainly, those actions might provide an empirical basis to revisit assumptions.

“If the delegation permitted by section 232, as now revealed, does not constitute excessive delegation in violation of the Constitution, what would?”

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) released a statement Monday applauding the ruling by the CIT.

“Today the CIT rightly affirmed our strong belief that the constitutional challenge to the Section 232 statute was and is without merit,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, in a prepared statement. “This lawsuit was theatre by the importers, designed to divert from the real issue which is that unfairly traded foreign imports had a disastrous impact on the steel industry, creating a real threat to our national and economic security.  The president’s bold trade actions have now helped the industry gain some momentum, and today’s CIT decision builds on that momentum.

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“We have consistently maintained that Congress acted within its constitutional authority when it authorized the president to take action to adjust imports, when the Secretary of Commerce has determined that such imports threaten to impair the national security. We are pleased that the CIT has agreed.”

Meanwhile, in its own reaction Monday, the AIIS said it would appeal the ruling and was “heartened” that the CIT “recognized that section 232, in the court’s words, ‘seem[s] to invite the President to regulate commerce by way of means reserved for Congress.’”

“Unfortunately, the court also found that a 1976 Supreme Court decision foreclosed closer review of the merits of our constitutional claim by the CIT itself,” the AIIS continued in its statement. “But we remain convinced that, as one of the judges wrote today in a separate opinion, ‘it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the statute has permitted the transfer of power to the President in violation of the separation of powers.’ We are appealing immediately in order to continue making that argument.”