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The Constitutional Challenge to the New Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports  

Author:  Jonathan L. Entin.

Source: Volume 36, Number 02, Winter 2019 , pp.45-60(16)

Journal of Taxation of Investments

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Before one frets about the tax owed on investment profits there must be some profits. Tariffs can reduce or eliminate some taxpayers’ profits. Some parties alleging injury from President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum have filed suit claiming that the statute on which the chief executive relied in imposing those tariffs is unconstitutional. This article assesses the challengers’ prospects for success in claiming that Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act represents an impermissible delegation of legislative power to the chief executive. Although the lawsuit probably will fail, the plaintiffs’ arguments are not frivolous and might help to persuade Congress to reassert its constitutional power to regulate commerce with foreign nations.

Keywords: tariffs, national security, international trade, nondelegation doctrine

Affiliations:  1: Case Western Reserve University.

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