Rulings, remedies and court proceedings for customs and trade professionals

CAFC OKs Trump's Exclusion Revocation for Solar Safeguard Tariffs, Reversing Trade Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Nov. 13 said then-President Donald Trump legally revoked a Section 201 safeguard tariff exclusion on bifacial solar panels, in a decision that gives the president wide discretion in taking tariff action. Reversing the Court of International Trade's decision, Judges Alan Lourie, Richard Taranto and Leonard Stark said the president did not clearly misconstrue the statute to find that he could make a trade-restricting modification to past Section 201 tariff action.

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Importers, led by the Solar Energy Industries Association, had claimed that the statute's language, which says that previous safeguards can be "reduced, modified, or terminated," only allowed for trade-liberalizing measures. The court also rejected the importers' claims that the president violated various procedural requirements in revoking the tariff exclusion.