The President’s Power to Impose a Fee on Imported Oil Pursuant to the Trade Expansion Act of 1962

Headnotes: 

The President has authority under § 232(b) of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose a license fee directly on foreign oil in order to restrict its importation in the interest of national security. However, the case law casts doubt on the President’s authority to act under § 232(b) when the impact of his action falls only remotely and indirectly on imported articles, as was the case when President Carter sought in 1980 to implement a program designed primarily to restrict domestic consumption of gasoline.

Prior to imposing a license fee on oil imports under § 232(b), the President is required to make certain findings, based on an investigation by the Secretary of Commerce, relating to the effects on the national security of oil imports, and to issue a proclamation.

Updated July 9, 2014