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NAFTA Steel Industry Recommend Steps To More Manufactured Goods Exports
Jul 28, 2010
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The NAFTA steel industry expressed appreciation for President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI)and for voicing strong support for “significantly increasing North America’s exports of manufactured goods to other world regions."

The steel industry letter sent July 26, 2010, to the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, was endorsed by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA), Mexican Steel Producers Association (Canacero), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), and Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA).

The letter recognized growing challenges that North American manufacturers face from China and other global competitors. "North America’s share of world exports of manufactured goods decreased from 19% in 2001 to 13.3% in 2008, while other important emerging economies - such as China, India and Brazil - doubled their share," the letter said.

The industry asks the TPCC and NAFTA governments to support the following recommendations:

* Innovation, Technology and Human Capital - Support more R&D in North America on breakthrough technologies to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions dramatically, and provide greater incentives in the NAFTA region to pursue innovative projects to increase energy efficiency, including support for joint and cross-border R&D initiatives where
appropriate.

* Infrastructure Investment - Continue the ongoing efforts to improve border infrastructure to facilitate the efficient and secure movement of people and fairly traded cargo between NAFTA countries, and build a 21st century infrastructure throughout North America.

* More Effective Trade Policies - Develop industrial strategies to improve the ability of manufacturers in North America to compete with China, India, and other emerging market countries, and achieve a truly level international playing field - with an enhanced focus on both trade enforcement and export promotion.

In addition to creating in each NAFTA country optimum business conditions to attract market-based investments, the industry letter emphasizes “support for global structural rebalancing and the need to correct the regional imbalances that have produced our huge North American trade deficits with other world regions.”

It also stresses that NAFTA governments must “address the trade-distorting industrial policies of offshore governments,” including currency manipulation, massive subsidies, and raw material export barriers. It references a June 9 industry letter to NAFTA Cabinet officials emphasizing that China’s currency policy “has caused the loss of millions of good manufacturing jobs in North America over the past decade.”

In its letter to the TPCC on the U.S. NEI, the industry urges the TPCC and NAFTA governments to support “further trilateral discussions among top
policy makers in all three countries” on the urgent need for “pro- manufacturing initiatives throughout the NAFTA region, including cross-border initiatives where appropriate.”

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