To: All Valued AIIS Members and 232 Fund Contributors
From: John Foster, AIIS Board Chairman
Date: July 12, 2017
FALLS CHURCH, VA – As part of our continuing commitment to keep you informed of developments surrounding the Section 232 investigation, we are forwarding the attached letter signed by 18 of the leading agriculture organizations in the United States to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The letter advises Secretary Ross that undermining the global trading system that keeps foreign markets open to U.S. exporters “…through an extraordinarily loose application of national security exceptions [in WTO rules] would be a short-sighted mistake.”
We are forwarding this letter for three reasons.
First, the farm and commodity groups that signed this letter represent a large and extremely important component of the American economy. The American Farm Bureau alone has over 6 million members.
Second, we want to highlight the already large and growing unpopularity of this potentially detrimental protectionist initiative. From “day one,” AIIS has called attention to the accumulating promises of trade retaliation against United States exports, particularly in agriculture, if 232-based trade restrictions are imposed.
Third, I want you to know that AIIS has ongoing communications with this group on how we can most effectively cooperate, and convey our strong shared concerns.
It is now abundantly clear that it is the voice of the AIIS, as well as others, that continues to lead and to be heard on this issue within the Administration, as evidenced by the somewhat surprising and unexpected delays in completing the investigation phase of this process. Our objective remains to stress that no new protectionist actions are needed for steel.
The final decision, of course, lies with President Trump. Please know, however, that your AIIS remains fully engaged and steadfast in our charge to get the facts out.
John D. Foster
Kurt Orban Partners