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January 17, 2017

In Case You Missed It: Check Out All Of MSCI’s Recent Advocacy Activities

We are only two weeks into the new Congress—and the new president has not yet been inaugurated—but the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) already has been very busy advocating for the policies that will help stimulate growth all along the industrial metals supply chain. 

When the 115th Congress convened on January 3, 2017, MSCI issued a press release promising that MSCI and its members would be watching and holding lawmakers accountable for fulfilling their election year promises. 

MSCI also released a statement  after President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Robert Lighthizer to be the U.S. Trade Representative. With Wilbur Ross as U.S. Commerce Secretary and Dr. Peter Navarro leading the newly-created National Trade Council, MSCI is hopeful that the Trump administration will make strong trade enforcement and addressing currency manipulation a top priority. 

Then last week, MSCI President and CEO M. Robert Weidner sent a letter to the President-elect’s transition team outlining MSCI’s legislative and regulatory priorities. The letter noted that, according to MSCI data, aluminum shipments from service centers are still 20 percent below their pre-Great Recession peak and carbon steel shipments from service centers are still down 30 percent. Weidner argued that our industry needs strong action to ensure our member companies can continue to contribute to our economy and our communities and to provide well-paying jobs for millions of Americans. 

One of the key pieces of legislation MSCI expects the 115th Congress to act on is the Financial CHOICE Act. The version of this bill introduced last year called for repeal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals rule. This rule has imposed significant costs on some of our member companies while doing little to reduce conflict and poverty in the regions of Africa it was meant to help. In December, MSCI sent a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) asking him to make sure conflict minerals repeal is in this year’s CHOICE Act. 

Weidner also discussed the challenges facing the industrial metals supply chain in a recent interview with American Metal Market. AMM subscribers can access the discussion of that interview here

MSCI’s message already is starting to break through on Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to free and fair trade. Last week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) penned an op-ed in The Hill promising that trade enforcement will be a key issue for the Republican leadership in the U.S. House. Chairman Brady said, “The freedom to trade lies at the heart of our nation's economic prosperity and leadership. But, if trade is to benefit our businesses, workers, and communities, we must ensure that it is conducted fairly and according to strictly enforced rules.” 

The activities outlined here are just the beginning. The new Congress and new administration is expected to take significant action this year on trade policy, tax reform, health care reform, energy policy, and regulatory reform. MSCI, through our coalitions and with the strength of our membership, will be there every step of the way to fight for pro-growth policies and to make its members’ voices heard.