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June 14, 2004

MSCI Wisconsin Chapter Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing Tonight

June 14, 2004

MSCI Wisconsin Chapter Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing Tonight

WAUKESHA, Wisconsin, June 14, 2004 – The Wisconsin Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) sponsors a Town Hall Meeting on the plight of durable goods manufacturing here tonight (Monday, June 14).

Speakers include Michael Retzer, chief financial officer of W.G. Strohwig Tool & Die,  Milwaukee; William M. Hickey, president, Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation, Chicago; and M. Robert Weidner, III, president and chief executive officer of MSCI.

“Some economists believe that the North American durable goods manufacturing sector has fully recovered, but from our vantage point, this is clearly not true,” said William J. Ring, president, Dalco Metals, Inc., of Walworth, Wisconsin and also president of the Wisconsin Chapter. “Nearly three millions jobs were lost in the long downturn as domestic factories closed or moved to low-cost offshore locations. Despite the immense productivity gains of recent years, our manufacturing sector continues to suffer losses to global trading partners that don’t play by the rules, and who manipulate their currencies for mercantile advantage. U.S. manufacturers are also put at a competitive disadvantage by the high cost of responding to state and federal regulations. In this election year, we need to keep these issues as high-level public policy concerns.”

The meeting, at The Country Inn Hotel & Conference Center in Waukesha, begins with registration at 5:30 p.m., followed by a 6:15 p.m. dinner and the 7:30 p.m. program. Anyone interested in the future of U.S.manufacturing is invited to attend.

Previous town hall meetings have been held in Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta, the Los Angeles area,Cleveland, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh. More than 1,500 people, including members of Congress and senior congressional staff members, have attended.

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“Issues like the health of our manufacturing sector and outsourcing are now an important election concern because of events like our town hall meetings, where business people, MSCI members, and our customers have an opportunity to hear first hand about the dimensions of the problem,” said Weidner. “Because of information that has surfaced in these meetings, we have campaigned against Asian currency manipulation and for fair and free trade in which our trading partners live up to all aspects of their agreements. The momentum has been building, and we will do all we can to make certain that it continues to do so.”

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 75 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 Bill Ring, 262-275-6175