Will These Lawsuits End Trump’s Tariffs? More Than 3,500 U.S. Companies Hope So.
More than 3,500 American companies have filed lawsuits asking a federal court to cancel the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese-made goods—by far the most significant legal challenge yet to the president’s trade war.
The lawsuits were filed over the past two weeks in the U.S. Court of International Trade, a special federal court that hears cases involving customs laws and duties, on behalf of several major American companies. The plaintiffs include retailers Target and Home Depot, car manufacturers Tesla and Ford, and several major manufacturing firms. The companies are challenging what Dana Incorporated, an auto parts manufacturer and plaintiff, calls an “unbounded and unlimited trade war impacting billions of dollars in goods,” Reuters reported.
The companies argue that the Trump administration failed to meet certain deadlines for imposing tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a federal law that gives the president authority to impose tariffs for the purposes of enforcing trade agreements or countering anticompetitive behavior by foreign countries. Trump invoked Section 301 when slapping an escalating series of tariffs on imports from China starting in 2018, but the lawsuits contend that the administration made procedural mistakes that should invalidate those tariffs.
Essentially, the court is being asked to determine whether Section 301 allows the White House to engage in what the plaintiffs call an “open-ended trade war,” or if it merely allows a president to take distinct actions to counter perceived “discriminatory” actions by a foreign government, The National
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