AISI Urges Ways & Means Committee Members to Vote for Levin’s Amended Version of Currency Bill

Legislation would address China’s deliberate undervaluation of its currency

Washington, D.C., 9/23/2010 – AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson commended House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) for his amended version of H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, in a letter sent today expressing AISI’s strong support and urging a favorable vote by the Committee, which is scheduled for Friday.  China’s deliberate undervaluation of its currency continues to harm U.S. manufacturers and the issue has gained momentum as lawmakers offer solutions to tackle the nation’s stagnant unemployment rate before the midterm elections.

“The government of China continues to provide massive subsides -- including the largest subsidy of all, its currency undervaluation -- to build and preserve its manufacturing capacity, limit its imports and promote its exports,” Gibson stated in his letter.  “The modified version of H.R. 2378 is a very measured approach that ensures we live up to our World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, unlike China, which is in violation of many of its WTO agreements.”

Economists estimate that China undervalues its currency by as much as 40 percent and is one of the biggest contributors to the 2.4 million American jobs lost to China in the last decade.   U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has already sidestepped two opportunities to confront China, leaving the responsibility up to Congress to act.  If passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee Friday, H.R. 2378, bi-partisan legislation introduced by Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), could be voted on by the full House of Representatives next week. 

Click here to read the full letter. 

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