Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, Duty Suspensions Key Issues at Fly-In
The 2012 edition of SOCMA CONNECT's Washington Fly-In saw many SOCMA members focus on long-standing issues such as the long-term extension of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) and the rational modernization of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as they met face-to-face with their members of Congress and their staff. But there were also pressing issues on the table, such as the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill and the renewal of duty suspensions.
Tom Becker and Kurt Jones of Iofina Chemical were especially advocating for the renewal of duty suspensions. Iofina imports one of its products from overseas because there are no U.S. manufacturers of the product. Duties paid on this product could mean two to three manufacturing jobs per year, and for a small manufacturing facility with only 25 employees, that is very important. In addition, renewal of the R&D tax credits for a company trying to remain on the leading edge of technology is crucial.
CRI’s Martha Schemm stressed the importance of protecting confidential business information and the detriment this could bring to the future of the specialty chemical industry during her Fly-In meetings. As a toll manufacturer, Schemm said CRI and its customers are continually innovating new products and molecules that give better performance and are environmentally friendly. These take 5 to 7 years to develop, and the capital invested is significant. If EPA forces chemical companies to list all the ingredients in their formulas, Schemm said they will be opening their competitive advantage to the Chinese. Congressional offices were informed about the issue and assured her they want to keep the USA competitive in the marketplace and eliminate any threat of industrial espionage.
GFS Chemicals' Steel Hutchinson also discussed the need for tax reform. He said members of Congress clearly understand that economic recovery isn’t happening fast enough. “The question remains as to whether the ideological differences of the powerbrokers on the Hill will continue to be a hindrance to sound new regulatory and tax policy that could unleash an economic renaissance in America,” he said.
For a recap and more photos from the Fly-In, click here.
Questions? Please contact Johanna Morsberger at (202) 721-4186.