Stephen Kho Quoted in Law360 on Security Trade Probes by Trump Administration

Law360 has quoted Akin Gump international trade partner Stephen Kho in the article “Trump May Be Tipping His Hand In Security Trade Probes,” which reports that President Trump may be exposing his administration to unforeseen legal challenges at the World Trade Organization by boasting about new trade enforcement actions.

According to the article, the national security-based trade investigations of aluminum and steel that are taking place under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 are permitting the United States “to impose trade restrictions on the basis of national security, ostensibly leaving opponents without much room for legal recourse.” With Mr. Trump suggesting on several occasions that the probes may have been launched to crack down on alleged unfair trading practices by foreign producers, however, that could be changing.

“If he uses this like a trade remedy, this language is all going to come back and bite him,” said Kho, a former official in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. “It doesn’t matter what is said in the final result, whoever challenges this in the WTO is going to pick up on all these statements. They’re just not very disciplined about using this in a narrow manner.”