AISI Heartened by 301 Decision, But Very Disappointed as Administration Delays Report and Opportunity to Name China a Currency Manipulator; Says It Is Critical Now for the Senate to Take Action

Washington, D.C., 10/15/2010 - American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson issued the following statement in response to today’s decision announced by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to delay its semi-annual International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies Report to Congress, once again putting off an opportunity to name China as a currency manipulator.

“While we are heartened by the Administration’s decision to accept the section 301 petition on green technology issues, we are very disappointed with the decision today to delay the currency report, once again failing to seize the opportunity to name China as a currency manipulator. China’s currency undervaluation gives its manufacturers as much as a 40 percent subsidy for its exports, which has greatly harmed American manufacturers at the cost of millions of high-value American jobs. This decision is particularly surprising considering that during his September 16 testimony before the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged that ‘heavy intervention’ by the Chinese government keeps the yuan undervalued, to the detriment of other nations.

Now we must look to Congress to level the playing field by enacting an effective trade remedy tool to deal with the problem of fundamental currency misalignment by China and other governments. On September 29, the House of Representatives passed by an overwhelming margin (348-79 vote), the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 2378), bipartisan legislation that gives U.S. manufacturers the ability to seek a legal remedy for injurious currency subsidies of the type maintained by China and other governments. Now it is time for the Senate to take action.

The steel industry urges the Senate to pass H.R. 2378 before the end of the 111th Congress and to send the legislation to President Obama for his signature. Unless the Senate acts before the end of the year, the legislation will expire and we will have missed a critical opportunity to put hard-working Americans back to work.”

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