Steel Institute Joins Autos, Other Industries in Joint Outreach to Administration on Currency Manipulation

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For Immediate Release
July 3, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and a dozen other pro-manufacturing groups impacted by unfair trade practices have asked the Obama Administration to make sure strong and enforceable provisions prohibiting currency manipulation are included in all future U.S. free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently under negotiation. Spearheaded by the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), the groups today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman saying that, "manipulation of currency levels…is one of the biggest distortions of international trade in the 21st Century. The economic consequences of currency manipulation are enormous and widespread."

The letter cites recent economic studies which have estimated that undervalued currencies resulting from intervention have caused an increase in the U.S. trade deficit of up to $500 billion per year. A similar letter was sent to the Administration earlier this year, signed by 230 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 60 members of the U.S. Senate.

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), today hailed the group’s efforts, saying, "Currency manipulation continues to put manufacturers, including the U.S. steel industry, at a great disadvantage against our foreign competitors. In order to remain internationally competitive, we need the Administration to insist that our trading partners are held accountable when they manipulate their currencies to gain a trade advantage. If currency manipulation is addressed in new trade agreements, it could lower the U.S. trade deficit, boost U.S. economic growth, U.S. exports, and lead to more American jobs."

The groups are urging the Administration to include in the TPP and other trade agreements a specific three-part test to determine whether a country is manipulating its currency, and provide for the loss of the trade agreement’s benefits as the consequence of engaging in such manipulation.

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

Click here for a PDF version of this release.

Read the full letter to Secretary Lew and Ambassador Froman here.

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 22 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 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.