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August 15, 2003

Members of Congress, Numerous Trade Associations to be Represented at August 21 MSCI Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing

August 15, 2003

Members of Congress, Numerous Trade Associations to be Represented at August 21 MSCI Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing

CHICAGO, Illinois, August 15, 2003 – Representatives of four members of Congress and nearly a dozen manufacturing trade associations will be present when the Central States Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute conducts its Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing on August 21.

“We have seen around the country that there is tremendous pent-up frustration with the decline of North American manufacturing and its impact on jobs, communities, our tax base and our national security,” said Martin J. Napoli, Jr., president of the chapter and also of NAPCO Steel, Inc., of West Chicago, Illinois. “This meeting gives us an opportunity to hear about the heavy toll on Midwest manufacturing that has resulted from currency manipulation and the transfer of jobs and factories from our region to Asia.  It is important for all of us to understand the immense dimensions of this problem.”

Speakers at the meeting, to be conducted at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, beginning at 12:30 p.m., include:

  • Donald R. McNeeley, president and chief executive officer, Chicago Tube & Iron Company, who will discuss the structural changes to the economy that have occurred in the last several years that make a true manufacturing recovery unlikely, with an assessment of the damage this has caused.
  • William M. Hickey, president, Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation, of Chicago, who will address the critically important problem of currency manipulation by our major trading partners in Asia.
  • David L. Lerman, chairman and chief executive officer of Steel Warehouse Company, Inc. of South Bend, Indiana, who will detail the impact on his manufacturer customers from Asian competition.
  • John Licht, chairman and chief executive officer of Duraco Products, Inc., of Streamwood, Illinois, who will talk about specific steps that metals service centers and their customers can take to help halt the North American manufacturing exodus and to begin to rebuild.

Congressional offices to be represented at the meeting include those of Rep. Mark Kirk (Illinois 10thDistrict), Rep. William O. Lipinski (Illinois 3rd), Rep. Donald Manzullo (Illinois 16th) and Rep. Judy Biggert (Illinois 13th).  Trade associations that will be represented at the meeting include the National Association of Manufacturers/Council of Manufacturing Associations, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Aluminum Extruders Council, Steel Founders Society of America, Forging Industry Association, Industrial Fasteners Institute, Precision Machined Products Association, Precision Metalforming Association, Chicago Manufacturing Center, Save American Manufacturing, Spring Manufacturers Institute, and the Tooling & Manufacturing Association.  Also attending will be a representative of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

 “There is no more important item on our agenda than acting now to do everything we can to preserve our manufacturing base and then begin to rebuild it,” said M. Robert Weidner, III, president and chief executive officer of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI).  “Our members are showing tremendous leadership by the very determined way that they have organized these meetings to bring this critical problem to light.”

Additional MSCI Town Hall Meetings have been scheduled by the South Atlantic Chapter on October 9 inCharlotte, North Carolina; by the Mid-South Chapter on October 16 in Atlanta, and by the Southern California Chapter on October 21 in Industry Hills, California.

Founded in 1907, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 350 members operating from about 1,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and elsewhere around the world. Together, MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 50 million tons of steel, aluminum and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. Metals service centers distribute metals and provide first-stage fabrication services.

Contact:   Jon Kalkwarf, 773-867-1300 x105, or Martin Napoli, (630) 293-1900