Steel Producers Group Urges Obama to Address Unfair Trade in Meeting with Chinese President Friday

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For Immediate Release
June 4, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today urged President Obama to address manufacturing and trade concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping in his upcoming meeting in California at the end of the week.  In an emphatic letter to President Obama sent earlier this week, AISI president and CEO Thomas J. Gibson wrote, “China continues to move away from  market-based reforms and relies on a series of market-distorting trade  and industrial policies that are having serious consequences for American steel producers, other  American manufacturers and  the U.S. and global economies.  China also continues to provide massive subsidies to its steel industry, allowing it to build export-oriented capacity far in excess of its home market demand. With weakened demand in China and elsewhere in the world, this excess capacity leads to surges of steel imports into the open U.S. market that undercuts domestic steel producers and their workers.”

Gibson said that in 2012, China alone had over 200 million tons of excess capacity, which is more than twice the amount of shipments of the domestic steel industry which shipped 96 million tons last year. The letter also stated that China continues to engage in systematic currency manipulation to gain an unfair competitive advantage for its exports while curbing imports, and is able to distort world markets by its heavy reliance on state-ownership and control.

“95 percent of the production of the top 20 Chinese steel groups is state-owned or controlled,” Gibson wrote to Obama. “The U.S. Government should take all possible steps to encourage China to comply with its WTO commitments regarding state-owned enterprises for steel and other manufacturing industries, and ensure disciplines that require these enterprises to act in a manner consistent with commercial considerations are including in future trade agreements. 

“We appreciate the myriad of very important issues that you will be discussing with President Xi Jinping.  We hope that you will be able to impress upon him the importance of China rebalancing and transitioning its economy to one that is truly based upon market forces,” he concluded.

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

Click here to read the full letter to President Obama.

Click here for a PDF version of this release.

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 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI’s member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at www.steel.org.