May 6, 2003

Metals Service Center Institute to Join Fight Against Currency Manipulation and to Revive the Manufacturing Economy

May 06, 2003

Metals Service Center Institute to Join Fight Against Currency Manipulation and to Revive the Manufacturing Economy

SAN DIEGO, California, May 6, 2003 – The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI), joining the active struggle to realign the value of the dollar and rejuvenate the North American manufacturing economy, has agreed to join the Coalition for a Sound Dollar and plans two major programs to support the nationwide initiative.

MSCI directors, voting during the institute’s annual meeting here, authorized membership in the coalition (comprised of 62 manufacturing and agricultural trade associations), a member survey to identify former manufacturer customers that no longer make products in North America and a series of Town Hall-style meetings to rally support for pro-manufacturing federal policies.

“By now it should be clear to everyone that the value of the dollar is not just an academic issue, but a powerful and direct influence on the health of U.S. manufacturing and, as important, on the flow of investment dollars for new manufacturing plant, equipment and technologies,” said Maurice S. “Sandy” Nelson, Jr., MSCI’s chairman, and president and chief executive officer of Earle M. Jorgensen Company of Brea, California.  “More than two million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the U.S. alone in the last two years, in large part because of a deliberate effort by China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan to maintain their currencies at artificially low values.”

– more –

The MSCI plan calls for the institute to conduct an immediate survey of its members to directly determine the extent of manufacturing customer losses that have occurred since 1998.

“The goal of this survey will be to dramatize the impact of the manufacturing decline in North America by putting names and faces to a fight that otherwise seems to be about economic theory,” said M. Robert Weidner, III, MSCI’s president and chief executive officer.  “Our members know about companies that have moved offshore due to the lack of investment capital caused by policies that maintain the dollar at over-valued levels.”

Second, a number of MSCI chapters will be asked to sponsor meetings open to metals distribution customers, suppliers, political leaders and others to address pro-manufacturing policies and recommend specific steps that the federal government should take.  “Our goal is to generate recommendations that will influence the upcoming Commerce Department recommendations to President Bush about manufacturing policy,” Weidner said.

Founded in 1907, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 400 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, 773-867-8760 x105, 773-835-6108 cell