January 28, 2014

Addressing Currency Manipulation Will Reduce Income Inequality

Contact: Ashley DeVecht, director of communication, 847-485-3011 or 616-260-2785 

Dianna Smoljan, 708-945-7405 

Addressing Currency Manipulation Will Reduce Income Inequality 
MSCI Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union 

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., January 28, 2014 – President Barack Obama gave his fifth State of the Union address to Americans tonight. In his remarks, the president focused on the theme of rising income inequality and his plan to install his agenda through executive orders and regulatory agencies. While the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) has not taken a position, and will not, on several of the specific policies and actions the president called for, it supports the president’s overall goal, but to help the manufacturing industry and bring back well-paying jobs to U.S. shores, MSCI believes the Obama administration and Congress should focus on combatting currency manipulation. 

“Income inequality is a major concern for a large majority of Americans and it’s a concern for U.S. business owners as well,” said MSCI President and CEO Bob Weidner. “The gap between the nation’s wealthiest expanded in the 1990s, in the 2000s and, unfortunately, it has expanded even more during the president’s term in office. The growth in this gap has coincided with a loss in well-paying manufacturing jobs. It’s quite simple: ending the wealth gap means enacting policies that help regenerate the nation’s manufacturing base.” 

“According to the Economic Policy Institute, eliminating currency manipulation would reduce the U.S. trade goods deficit between $190 billion and $400 billion over three years,” Weidner noted. “It would also increase GDP by as much as 3.1 percent and create up to 4.7 million new jobs – new jobs that could address income equality issues.” 

In his remarks Tuesday night President Obama called on Congress to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a process that would allow Congress to approve new free trade pacts through an expedited process. The bill as currently drafted includes a provision requiring that future trade pacts include debate on currency manipulation. 

“While MSCI supports free trade bills that open more world markets to U.S. products, it doesn’t believe the currency provision in the current TPA draft is strong enough,” said Weidner. “We agree with House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) who believes lawmakers need to go back to the drawing board and write into TPA a stronger plan to ensure future trade pacts include specific policies to address currency manipulation.” 

“A more effective currency provision is the best way to bring back manufacturing jobs and to address income inequality,” Weidner concluded. 

In addition to a plan to address currency manipulation, MSCI supports a tax reform plan that cuts tax rates for corporations and small businesses, comprehensive immigration reform that provides workforce stability for employers and employees and an all-of-the-above energy policy that allows for alternative energy resource development and increased natural gas and oil exploration. To learn more about MSCI’s issue platform, see its policy agenda here. 

About MSCI 
Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute, based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., has over 400 members operating from more than 1,500 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and throughout the world. A recent study shows the American metals industry accounts for nearly 2.5 million jobs and the economic contribution of the industry is more than $552 billion or more than 3.5% of the nation’s gross domestic product. 

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