The President's Long-Forgotten Power To Raise Tariffs

By John Veroneau and Catherine Gibson, Covington & Burling LLP (December 14, 2016, 1:53 PM EST) -- John Veroneau

Catherine Gibson During the campaign and in recent weeks, Donald Trump has expressed his interest in raising tariffs in response to unfair trade practices. While the U.S. Constitution provides Congress with primary authority over tariff levels, the president has substantial albeit qualified powers in this area.

President-elect Trump's statements have sent a generation of trade lawyers scurrying to grasp the contours of presidential power to raise tariffs. In the course of our own efforts to determine the metes and bounds of such authority, we discovered a long forgotten but still intact statute that provides the President with broad tariff-setting...

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