During a keynote presentation Sept. 19 at IndustryWeek's Smart Manufacturing 2005 conference that is being held in Bloomingdale, IL through Oct. 21, Daniel R. DiMicco, CEO of Nucor Corporation pointed out that, "today it is roughly 20% more expensive to operate in the U.S. than it is in most of our largest trading partners". He calls on his fellow manufacturers to take action and insist that our government provide a level playing field by enforcing current laws. He cites foreign competitors' unfair trade acts such as "closed markets, subsidies and currency manipulation" as a major reason for why manufacturers are struggling.
Nucor, which is the second-largest steel manufacturer in the western hemisphere with mills in Alabama, S. Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, N. Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Utah and Seattle and a variety of operations throughout the country, employs 11,400.
What deeply concerns DiMicco is watching manufacturing jobs going overseas. He asked the audience, "How often to you hear anyone speaking up on behalf of the U. S. manufacturing industry and supporting American workers?" He challenged the audience to act, "That's going to change. Together we're going to change that."
According to DiMicco the U.S. is at an unfair trade advantage due to internal factors as well as unfair foreign trade practices. He cites " the constant threat of baseless litigation which directly accounts for a 3.2% cost disadvantage versus our global competitors; our excessive rate of corporate taxation which is among the highest in the world; our skyrocketing expenditures on healthcare, employee benefits and worker's compensation; and often-crippling regulation."
He called upon companies to contact government officials and get this message out loud and clear, "trade is the ultimate good; it is this country's lifeblood. But it must be free of impediments to and penalties against American business."