April 11-12, 2016
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Fifty SOCMA members led more than 100 meetings on Capitol Hill on April 12 to advocate to members of Congress on key issues impacting their businesses and the specialty chemical manufacturing sector.
SOCMA’s 9th Annual Washington Fly-In couldn't have happened at a more opportune time with hearings taking place on regulatory reform and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). Congress is also conferring on Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation, and SOCMA members had a prime opportunity to have their voices heard on this crucial piece of legislation.
The Fly-In kicked off on April 11 with a 101 session in the SOCMA office and continued with a reception in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room of the U.S. Capitol, where Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) discussed the importance of STEM education and the chemical industry. Comstock, whose father is a chemical engineer, told members they have an advocate who actually lives in-house. She also encouraged SOCMA members to share stories about the importance of the chemicals they make in products Americans use every day, as well as the impact their businesses have on the communities in which they live. Members were then treated to dinner at Aqua al 2.
From providing information about their company’s economic impact on their communities to giving anecdotes about how specific pieces of legislation affect their ability to compete in the global market, SOCMA members took full advantage of their time on Capitol Hill.
Tom Becker, President of Iofina Chemical, met with Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) to share information about his company and its positive impact on the community. He also told the Congressman about the 6.5 percent tax his business pays on imported raw materials that can't be purchased in the United States because Congress failed to pass the MTB. An expired MTB also means a loss of jobs and funding that could be used on research and development for his company.
Solvay's Arienne Brint told Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) and his staff that passing the MTB was Solvay's number one legislative concern. The company has 30 chemicals included in the MTB and has paid about $6.5 million a year in tariffs since the MTB expired.
SOCMA members also used the meetings to educate freshmen members of Congress about the impact of their businesses on the communities where they are located. For example, Nicole Voss and Anthony Schatz of Ashland ended their day in a meeting with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), where they discussed the importance of passing TSCA reform that includes protection of confidential business information. They also touched on the impact of California's Proposition 65 and Safer Consumer Products Act. And more specific to Ashland, they shared the company's concern over the Food and Drug Administration's implementation of the Sunscreen Innovation Act.
In all, SOCMA members had a very successful day on Capitol Hill, and their voices were heard by those who can make a difference when it comes to voting on these important industry issues. Invitations were extended throughout the day for lawmakers to visit SOCMA member facilities. Please let us know if you need assistance with setting up these site visits by contacting Dan Moss at (202) 721-4143.