2011 has certainly gotten off to a quick and active start for the die casting industry.
On January 3rd, 2011 the Wall Street Journal issued an article “Mugging Magnesium”, how an antidumping case has destroyed U.S. manufacturing jobs. This article was based upon testimony in Washington, DC by Dan Twarog, NADCA President, and magnesium die cast companies that have experienced a loss of business to overseas competitors in the last few years. The cost of magnesium in the U.S. averages $2.30 per pound while manufacturers in Mexico, Canada, and Europe pay $1.50 per pound. Chinese casters pay only $1.36 per pound which makes the case against the tariffs on magnesium alloy even more compelling for magnesium die casters in the US.
According to NADCA’s statistics, 1,875 direct jobs and 8,000 supporting jobs have been lost since the Commerce Department imposed the antidumping duties on magnesium from offshore producers in 2005. The tariff was an attempt to protect the one and only U.S. producer of magnesium alloy located in Utah. “If the goal was to destroy was to destroy a U.S. manufacturing industry, you couldn’t have come up with a better plan” as printed in the WSJ article.
In a positive turn of events since the hearing in Washington, DC, four of the trade commissioners visited a NADCA corporate member who testified at the Trade Commission hearing. This high profile case and the fact that NADCA has been able to present data and actual accounts of jobs moving offshore is an important milestone for the NADCA efforts in Washington, DC.
NADCA also had a great opportunity recently to present specific burdensome regulations to the House Oversite and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa of California. Issa is very concerned about damage the U.S. government has done to businesses over the years with imposing onerous regulations and laws that make the U.S. manufacturing base less competitive in the global market. NADCA, along with the National Association of Manufacturers, has presented a few “burdensome” regulations to Issa’s Committee. Another excellent example of NADCA’s Government Affairs program working for the membership.
As many of you know, NADCA has a Government Affairs Committee that works directly with a representative in Washington DC. Events such as the Issa Committee request for information and the testimony by NADCA before the International Trade Commission are recent examples of the results of this work. Our Washington representative, Artemis Strategies, assists NADCA on how to be more effective with Congress, OSHA, and the EPA. You probably have read articles in the press about the change in direction at OSHA and EPA when the current administration was elected two years ago. These efforts by NADCA are “in the trenches” work with government officials in an attempt to move regulations and policy in a more favorable direction for die casting in America.
NADCA has been visiting Washington DC for over thirty years now with an annual Government Affairs Conference every spring. The Conference offers the attendees an opportunity to visit elected Representatives and Senators and present the top issues that affect die casting.
This year the Conference will be held on May 4th-6th 2011 and I invite each NADCA corporate member to send at least one person to represent the die cast industry this year. We need to educate the Congress about die casting and why a die casting industry is needed in America.
Please take a moment to sign up for this year’s conference in Washington and make our industry voice heard to our Government officials.
Thank you and see you in Washington, DC in May.