'Overvalued' Dollar Coalition Being Formed

By John S. McClenahen During the last several months, Jerry J. Jasinowski, president of the Washington-based National Assn. of Manufacturers (NAM), has made what he believes is an overvalued U.S. dollar a public policy cause. He complains it's up nearly 30% against other major currencies since 1997, its highest level in 15 years, and hurting U.S. exporters, especially small manufacturers. Jasinowski, along with other association leaders, have complained to U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, apparently to no avail. Now, working with six other trade associations, NAM is trying to put together a coalition to develop a coordinated approach to the issue. "Our aim is to help trade associations encourage member companies and their employees to develop a major grassroots campaign on the problem of the overvalued dollar," says Jasinowski. So far the NAM has not called on the Bush Administration for direct action, nor has it specified a target value for the dollar. "Frankly, we'd be happy if the White House would simply stop creating the impression that there's no such thing as an overvalued dollar," says Jasinowski. In addition to NAM, the coalition's founding core includes the Aerospace Industries Assn., the American Forest & Paper Assn., AMT-The Assn. for Manufacturing Technology, the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Assn., the Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles Assn., and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America.

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