April 20, 2010

MSCI Town Hall Meeting Draws 500 People for Presentations on Threats to Manufacturing; Brady, Roskam Speak

April 20, 2010

MSCI Town Hall Meeting Draws 500 People for Presentations on Threats to Manufacturing; Brady, Roskam Speak

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, April 20, 2010 – Threats to U.S. manufacturing, including higher taxes, burdensome regulations, punitive legislation and an anti-business attitude in Washington, were reviewed on Monday by presenters and politicians at a Manufacturing First! Town Hall Meeting sponsored by the Central States Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute. Some 500 people and nearly a dozen federal and state elected officials attended and heard calls to action and involvement on a variety of critically important issues.

“This election is all about our birthright,” said U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, the Republican congressman for the Illinois 6th District. “Do we believe fundamentally in a free market system that at its core has created more prosperity for more people than the world has ever known? Or, alternatively, do we say we’re going to take that birthright and give it to the folks in Washington, D.C., the same folks who have now tripled our national debt, who want to put a confiscatory energy policy in place, who can’t balance a checkbook, who can’t figure out how to create certainty in the business climate or what a business needs to prosper? This birthright is worth fighting for, standing up for, and defending.”

State Senator Bill Brady, the Republican nominee for Illinois governor in the November general election, said harmful state tax, regulatory and litigation policy have contributed to a decade of net outmigration from the state of 700,000 people in the last decade, including the loss of 250,000 jobs in the last year. “I often joke about the fact that if higher taxes, higher fees, more regulation, more litigation and deficits and debt worked, we’d be the highest job-producing state,” Brady said. “But we’re not.”

The state has tremendous advantages, but must hold the line or reduce taxes, not raise them. “Every job in Illinois brings with it an average of $4,200 in revenue to the state,” he said. “That’s the kind of revenue we need.”

Bill Jones, chairman of MSCI and vice chairman of O’Neal Industries of Birmingham, Alabama, said the town hall meeting was important because it permits people in business to “come together, share information and determine what we can do, what our part can be, in helping to protect the manufacturing base in America.

“I’m very concerned about our industry primarily because of the weak economy, the erosion we continue to see in our manufacturing base, and the war on free enterprise that’s being waged by our president, Congress and several regulatory agencies in Washington,” Jones said. “The erosion of American manufacturing can be stopped, and businesses saved, if we protect that manufacturing base and enforce the trade laws that are there to level the international playing field.”

Joining Jones as presenters were Bill Hickey, president of Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation, Chicago, who spoke about international trade and foreign currency manipulation; Jim Miller, partner, Winston & Strawn LLP, Washington, D.C., who described the political and regulatory environment ; Kevin M. Dempsey, senior vice president, public policy, and general counsel of the American Iron & Steel Institute, Washington, D.C., who discussed proposed climate legislation and its potential impact on the domestic steel industry, and Bob Weidner, MSCI’s president and CEO and the meeting’s moderator.

The town hall was the institute’s second so far this year, and as many as a half-dozen more are anticipated during the balance of 2010.

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 375 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 distributors in North America, amounting each year to more than 55 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, administration and CFO, Metals Service Center Institute, 847-485-3007 or 773-835-6108