March 7, 2007

MSCI Strongly Backs New Currency Bill; Calls for Urgent Action

March 07, 2007

MSCI Strongly Backs New Currency Bill; Calls for Urgent Action

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, March 7, 2007 – The Metals Service Center Institute today strongly endorsed Senate introduction of the Fair Currency Act of 2007 and urged fast action on the proposed legislation.

“This bill, like the House bill before it, fills a void in U.S. trade policy by permitting injured industries to secure countervailing duties to offset the impact of consistently misaligned exchange rates caused by the policies of foreign governments,” said M. Robert Weidner, III, MSCI’s president and chief executive officer. “Until this legislation is enacted, U.S. manufacturers – our customers in every state of the union – will continue to suffer the devastating effects of manipulated, misaligned currencies with no means of self-defense. This is not about protectionism. It is about permitting the foreign exchange markets to determine the appropriate value of all currencies to secure a level playing field in international trade.”

The bi-partisan legislation was introduced by Senators Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky); Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan); Olympia Snowe (R-Maine); Evan Bayh (D-Indiana); Carl Levin (D-Michigan); and Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pennsylvania). “The fact that Republicans and Democrats have united behind this legislation is an important indication of how much American manufacturing needs the ability to fight the impact of mercantilism of this kind,” said Weidner. “All of us understand that U.S. industry can compete with anyone if trade is free and fair, and if all partners to global trading agreements comply with their agreements. But it is very difficult to overcome the trade subsidy of deliberately undervalued currencies.”

Weidner noted that recent presidents have relied on persuasion in attempts to motivate trading partners of the need to eliminate misaligned currencies. But after many years of talk, there has been almost no change, particularly with regard to China’s currency, the Renminbi, or the yuan as it is more generally known.

“We need new policy tools to help persuade these trading partners to abandon their currency misalignment, to deter others from adopting similar policies, and to provide effective remedies for injured American industries,” he said. “The Fair Currency Act is the best such tool we have yet seen.”

MSCI, a leader of the China Currency Coalition, commended the sponsoring senators for introducing the bill. “We are encouraged and strongly support this bipartisan effort to remedy the unfair trade policies of our trading partners,” Weidner said.

About MSCI

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 420 members operating from about 1,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere in the world. Together, MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 65 million tons of steel, aluminum, and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. MSCI’s membership also includes almost all ferrous and non-ferrous industrial metals producers in North America. Metals service centers inventory and distribute metals and provide first-stage fabrication services.


Jon Kalkwarf, vice president, finance and administration, (847) 485-3007


Steve Weiner, Readmore Communications, (847) 485-3011