On October 18, 2018, the Cause of Action Institute – a self-professed government watchdog group – filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Commerce (DOC), alleging the agency has ignored the Institute’s effort to learn more about the Trump Administration’s process for considering exclusion requests from the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
The lawsuit follows the Institute’s unsuccessful attempts to obtain information from the DOC pursuant to several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Institute’s FOIA requests asked for details about the DOC’s staffing levels and, most importantly, for access to e-mails to or from the DOC regarding the exclusion process. However, according to the Institute, the DOC has not responded to any of the requests.
The Institute has asked the US District Court to compel disclosure from the DOC within 20 days.