Steel Industry Commends Congressmen Tim Ryan and Tim Murphy For Urging Senate Leadership To Pass Currency Reform Legislation During Lame Duck

American Iron and Steel Institute Calls On the Entire U.S. Senate to Support Action Immediately

Washington, D.C., 11/30/2010 - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) commended Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), co-sponsors of H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, for urging the Senate Leadership to bring the currency reform bill to a vote on the Senate floor before the 111th Congress adjourns.   Affirming the urgency for immediate action, AISI sent a letter today to the entire U.S. Senate asking for their full support and quick passage of the bill.

“We greatly appreciate the tremendous leadership that Congressmen Ryan and Murphy have shown on the critical need for currency reform,” AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson.  “Their currency reform bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a broad bipartisan vote of 348-79.  Now it is urgent for the Senate Leadership to take up and pass H.R. 2378 during the lame duck session.”

“Prominent economists estimate that China’s currency is undervalued by as much as 40 percent,” Gibson stated in the AISI letter delivered to the Senate.  “That makes this market-distorting practice the largest subsidy that the government of China provides to its manufacturers.  The effects of this huge subsidy have been devastating to the U.S. manufacturing base, its workers, and the American economy as a whole.  Our nation continues to see record, unsustainable trade deficits and the movement of manufacturing facilities and jobs to China and other countries overseas.  In fact, it is estimated that we have lost roughly 2.4 million American jobs to China in the past decade.  With an average unemployment rate of 9.6 percent, failure to address this issue is unacceptable.”

“This bill is consistent with our WTO obligations and given the reluctance of China to take meaningful action on currency at the G20 last week, it is necessary for the Senate to immediately take action and enact this legislation,” the letter stated.

In the letter, Gibson said that H.R. 2378 “would give U.S. manufacturers the ability to use the existing countervailing duty law to obtain a remedy for injury caused by goods benefiting from a currency manipulation export subsidy.”

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 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 140 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 80 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