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current high value of the U.S. dollar’s is having a negative impact on manufacturing
exports, production and employment, claims the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers
Association (MEMA).

“MEMA’s members ” who make motor vehicle components ” are among
the growing number of U.S. manufacturers affected by the growing burden of an
overvalued dollar," said president and CEO Chris Bates.



MEMA has joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other manufacturing
associations to ask U.S. treasury secretary Paul O’Neill to make it clear that
the dollar’s value should be consistent with economic reality and market conditions.

In a letter to O’Neil, the associations note that the dollar has appreciated
in value by 27 percent since early 1997. They claim that, in addition to the
automotive sector, other manufacturing industries such as aircraft, paper and
forest products, machine tools, medical equipment, steel and other capital goods
are being significantly affected.

"No amount of cost cutting on our members’ part can offset a nearly 30
percent dollar mark-up," Bates said.

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"The associations are calling on the Treasury for a commitment to further
reductions in interest rates and to cooperating in exchange markets as appropriate,"
Bates said.

"In addition, the Treasury should not condone currency manipulation by
U.S. trading partners seeking to make their exports more competitive."

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