ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION HIGHLIGHTS THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE FOR NORTH AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS WASHINGTON – Government officials and industry representatives from Canada, Mexico, and the United States convened today at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. for “The Roadway to North American Competitiveness,” a roundtable discussion of the status, challenges and opportunities regarding North American’s vital infrastructure. Sponsored by the North American Steel Trade Committee (NASTC), a government and industry working group devoted to trade and competitiveness issues, the event represented a unique collaborative effort on the part of high-level government and industry officials throughout North America. Discussions focused on how a strong and reliable infrastructure is crucial to each nation’s economic health, as well as North American competitiveness at home, in the region and abroad. Intra-North American trade alone accounted for approximately USD 900 billion during 2010. According to Mario Longhi, president and CEO of Gerdau Long Steel North America, “ infrastructure investment remains one of the key elements for the creation of job growth, which is essential for a true, sustainable recovery, and a better future for North America.” Raúl Gutierrez, President of the Mexican Steel Industry Association, commented “Infrastructure is a key variable for the competitiveness of North American business.” The event included panel discussions led by senior-level government officials, presidents and CEOs of private companies,, and leaders of industry associations from Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Panels presented viewpoints in four key areas: heavy users of infrastructure, stakeholders of border infrastructure, current government efforts and future plans, and commercial opportunities. The discussions highlighted that the efficient movement of needed inputs, raw materials and finished goods is critically dependent upon a reliable network of roads, rail and waterways within each nation. Effective and efficient infrastructure at our borders and seaports allows for the smooth transit of goods between North American partners and strengthens our respective export platforms and ability to ship abroad. While there are many challenges, there was consensus that working collaboratively presents real opportunities for both governments and industry. For more information about this event, see www.NASTC.org.