AISI Supports Currency Reform Bill

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For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – China’s undervalued currency is a key reason why the United States has lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs in the last decade.  The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today said prolonged currency manipulation by China, and other countries who misalign currency to the U.S. dollar at a below market rate, provides a subsidy which makes steel and other goods from China artificially less expensive compared to domestic products.  AISI has urged Members of Congress to support legislation introduced today by Representatives Tim Murphy (R-PA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Mo Brooks (R-AL) to remedy this unfair trade practice.

“Currency manipulation to gain an unfair competitive advantage is among the most destructive trade-distorting practices used today,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI.  “While China has been the largest offender, in today’s weak global economy an increasing number of governments are manipulating their currencies to insulate their domestic producers.  This is devastating to U.S. domestic manufacturers – especially the steel industry -- and is contributing to the nation’s inability to fully recover from the recession.”

The bill introduced today, “The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act,” passed the U.S. House with overwhelming support in the 111th Congress and had 234 bipartisan cosponsors in the 112th Congress.  The legislation gives 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. 

Gibson said China continues to provide massive subsidies to its steel industry, in addition to manipulating its currency, allowing it to build export-oriented capacity far in excess of its home market demand.  In 2012, China’s steel capacity reached 970 million tons, which was 250 million tons beyond Chinese demand.

“China’s overcapacity is two-and-half times the size of our entire domestic steel market.  We greatly appreciate the efforts of Representatives Murphy, Levin, Ryan and Brooks to introduce this legislation signaling that Congress is not going to sit idly by while China and others refuse to play by the rules,” he concluded.

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

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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 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately over three quarters 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 .