Thomas J. Gibson, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has urged President Obama to “fight for manufacturing and for steel” during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the USA this week.

Gibson said that the AISI wholeheartedly supports the positions outlined in letters sent this week to the Administration by nearly 70 members of the Congressional Steel Caucus, led by Republicans Tim Murphy and Pete Visclosky and by Senators Sherrod Brown and Richard Burr from key steel states.

According to Gibson, “China currently produces as much steel as the rest of the world combined. A significant amount of this Chinese steel is exported to the US and other world markets, which has contributed to a devastating import surge that has caused steel plants to be idled and workers to lose jobs. We know that China doesn’t play by the same rules as we do. China manipulates its currency to gain unfair advantage in the US and other export markets, and most of China’s steel industry is state-owned and subsidised which has led to massive global overcapacity. The Administration cannot let the opportunity to discuss these critical issues during President Xi’s visit pass us by,” he said.

He added that, through the first seven months of 2015, China has exported 67Mmt (million metric tons) of steel, an increase of 27% over 2014 and on track to exceed 100Mmt, greater than total US steel production last year.

Gibson said that China continues to “fail to abide by market principles,” and noted that the AISI filed formal comments with the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday regarding concerns about China’s WTO compliance.

The AISI’s submission emphasised that “China’s substantial, long-term breach of its WTO commitments continues to have serious consequences for American steel producers, other American manufacturers, and the US and world economies.

“The US needs to take bolder steps to address this ongoing problem. The fact that China has not fully complied with its WTO obligations underscores the importance of effective enforcement of US trade remedy laws. All of these issues should be on the table during President Xi’s trip here,” Gibson concluded.