The Court of International Trade on Thursday, March 12, 2020, reassigned several pending appeals on the recent challenges to the Section 232 derivative tariffs on steel on aluminum. These duties were originally announced on January 24, 2020, and went into effect on February 8, 2020. (See original post here). While it is unusual for a CIT appeal to be heard by a three-judge panel, in the appeals related to the 2018 Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum, the CIT also convened a three-judge panel. The panel will be comprised of Chief Judge Timothy Stanceau, Judge Jennifer Choe-Groves, who was on the panel reviewing the AIIS appeal filed in 2018, and Judge Miller Baker, the court’s most recently appointed judge.
This three-judge panel is not an entirely unexpected move, even though the individual parties did not ask for the assignment of such a panel. Because of the numerous lawsuits that have been filed in the last few weeks hearing similarly situated cases which have common issues of law should lead to judicial economy and a consistency in results. It is likely that the panel will decide the issues common to all the pending cases which include those filed by PrimeSource, Oman Fasteners, Huttig, Astrotech, Trinity, New Supplies, Aslanbas, J. Conrad, Metropolitan Staple, and ten other companies.
The basic common points of all the challenges are that the application of these new tariffs on additional products not covered by the President’s previous legal findings violated the Section 232 statute, and further were unconstitutional under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. The CIT rules provide for the appointment of a three-judge panel in cases that involve the constitutionality of an act of Congress, a Presidential Proclamation, or an Executive Order, or otherwise have broad and significant implications.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Section 232 tariffs or any of the appeals, please contact Husch Blackwell’s International Trade and Supply Chain team.