AIIS Announces Leader’s Retirement Plans

Jun 28, 2013

Falls Church, VA, June 28, 2013 - The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) announced today that long standing President, David Phelps, will retire October 1-- with flexibility for transition issues. Phelps has led the Institute for the past 17 years. AIIS is widely recognized as the only steel association that promotes free and responsible trade in steel and opposes protectionist barriers, including subsidies. 

Mr. Phelps came to the Institute in 1996 as its Executive Director tasked with helping the AIIS fulfill its mission to promote free trade and economic growth through competition in steel trade while opposing protectionist barriers to trade. He was later promoted to serve as its President. Prior to joining the AIIS, Phelps worked as a Customs and steel products consultant and served 15 years as an officer with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) with responsibilities covering Customs, transportation and public policy issues affecting steel market development programs. Mr. Phelps’ background includes an MA in Economics from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a BS in Economics from George Mason University in Virginia.

AIIS Chairman, John D. Foster, praised Phelps for his absolute passion and dedication to the Institute’s mission and carrying the free and responsible trade cause to the US and around the world. According to Mr. Foster, steel trading is evolving as it faces new challenges. “Dave has been instrumental in promoting free and responsible trade and open markets over the past 17 years and more recently added to his responsibilities promoting critical pro-manufacturing issues such as regulatory over-reach, taxes and infrastructure initiatives for our nation’s port system. Phelps also led the AIIS effort against the Section 201 steel restrictions, which were devastating to AIIS members. AIIS, working with other liked-minded groups, played a role in the elimination of the 201 restrictions early in 2003,” Foster said.

Phelps said, “It has been an honor to work for AIIS for 17 years and I have enjoyed my 32 years in the steel industry. It has been a great career. AIIS members are some of the most entrepreneurial, open market people one could encounter. They work in the rough and tumble world of steel importing and exporting, which while challenging enough by itself, it is also fraught with protectionist barriers to their businesses all too often.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to represent AIIS’s trading and logistics members all these years, literally around the world.  I look forward to retirement and other opportunities that may come my way.” 

Foster noted “In the future, as our country’s economic foundation improves slowly but surely, the AIIS will continue to focus on our mission and ardently address those issues that bring value to our membership and keep the free and responsible trade channels open.  A vibrant steel import and export environment is beneficial to our country’s overall manufacturing sector.  Promoting policies that benefit our steel consuming and distributing customers will remain the objective of AIIS going forward.”

The American Institute for International Steel is the only steel related association which supports free trade. The Institute accomplishes our mission through Advocacy, Networking, Communications and Education.

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