Groups Urge Bush to Address
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- Asserting that the strength of the dollar has caused "ecoonomic hemorrhaging," the American farm Bureau Federation and the National Association of Manufactureres have urged President Bush to make currency realignment a top priority at the G-8 Economic Summit that starts later this week in Italy.
In a joint letter to Bush, the organizations said that "over-valuation of the dollar is one of the most pressing international economic problems facing America's agriculture and manufacturing" sectors. "The dollar has risen nearly 30 percent against major currencis in the last four years and is having a major negative impact on agricultural and manufacturing exports, production, and employment," said AFBF President Bob Stallman and NAM President Jerry J. Jasinowski.
"U.S. farmers have been losing export sales for the past three years because the dollar is pricing our products out of the markets -- both at home and abroad," the business leaders noted. Factory workers are being laid off for the same reason, they added. In part because of the "excessively valued dollar," the nation has lost 100,000 agricultural export-related jobs since 1997 and more than 750,000 manufacturing jobs since mid-2000, they said.
"Many product sectors are being harmed, including agricultural and food commodities, aircraft, automobiles and parts, paper and forest products, machine tools, medical equipment, steel, and other capital and consumer goods," Stallman and Jasinowski pointed out.
The business leaders urged Bush to take steps to ensure that the value of the dollar is "consistent with economic reality and market conditions" and to work with the industrialized nations at the summit to "address the disparities in exchange rate markets."
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