AISI Calls on House Democratic Leadership for Vote on Currency Manipulation

Gibson urges Congress to vote before leaving for October recess

Washington, D.C., 9/22/2010 American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson sent a letter to House Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Chairman Sander Levin, expressing strong support for a vote on H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, before Congress adjourns in October.  The bi-partisan legislation introduced by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) will provide U.S. manufacturers with an important trade remedy tool to address the injury caused by foreign government currency manipulation.

“While there are a number of factors that have contributed to the massive job losses the manufacturing sector has faced over the last decade, China’s currency undervaluation is certainly one major contributing factor that cannot be overlooked,” Gibson expressed in his letter.  “Currency undervaluation distorts trade by acting as a subsidy that artificially reduces prices on exports from the country undervaluing its currency, and as an added tariff on imports into that country.  This undermines the Administration’s goal of doubling U.S. exports, stimulating the economy and creating jobs.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also acknowledged how China’s undervalued currency makes Chinese exports cheaper, and in return, places U.S. businesses and manufacturers at a significant disadvantage in his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on September 16.  However, Geithner has missed two critical opportunities this year to cite China as a currency manipulator.  Due to the lack of action by the Obama Administration, Congress must step in and act now.  Gibson urges, “If Congress is serious about moving legislation that will help the manufacturing sector, create jobs, and not add to the federal deficit, this is a bill that should be taken up and passed immediately.”  Gibson’s letter also cites a Fair Currency Coalition petition that has been signed by almost 300 companies, trade associations and labor groups requesting action on legislation to address currency manipulation.

Click here to read full letter.

Click here to read the Fair Currency Coalition’s (FCC) petition. 

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 23 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.

Contact:
Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115