June 27, 2000
Good morning. I am Jon Jenson, President of the Precision Metalforming Association and Chairman of coalition called CITAC, the "Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition." I am happy to welcome you to this important conference.
CITAC is pleased to sponsor this conference. Today, we begin to tell a story that is too often ignored. Manufacturing companies are consumers too. The products and services they need to manufacture must be available on world-competitive terms, or our manufacturers will not be competitive themselves. An auto manufacturer, for example, must have components at prices that are comparable to its foreign competitors, or the ultimate consumer will buy elsewhere.
When our government imposes restrictions on international trade, it inevitably hurts consumers. If consumer goods are restricted, then retailers, distributors and individual consumers are hurt by higher prices or lack of availability. If commercial or industrial raw materials are restricted, industrial consumers are hurt, also by higher prices, increased lead times and lack of availability.
Today, we will hear from several representatives of consuming industries that have been affected by various types of trade restrictions, from a WTO retaliation against the European Community to neglected victims of antidumping and countervailing duty actions.
We will also listen to expert panelists on the failure of trade policy makers to consider consuming industries adequately and what should be done about it.
When weve heard from our panels, Ill be back with our luncheon speaker.