Congress Urgently Needs to Commit to U.S. Manufacturing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2008
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Washington, DC - The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA) issued the following statement today calling on Congress to pass specific legislation to make the U.S. chemical industry more competitive in the world marketplace. The bills include the research and development tax credit legislation and several free trade agreements now pending.
Congress returns from its August recess faced with an economy that, despite its downturn, is being kept afloat largely by U.S. manufacturing exports. Exports from chemical manufacturing are valued in the billions of dollars and remain one of the most exported U.S. products. Congress now has a tremendous opportunity to boost our industry’s ability to improve our economy and also demonstrate a commitment to American jobs.
The chemical industry greatly depends on innovation and new product development for its continued success and growth. No matter the size, chemical manufacturers spend significant amounts of their revenue on R&D, which is necessary to compete in global markets, many of which are better equipped to compete. Members of the U.S. Senate need to put their differences aside and pass legislation to extend the R&D tax credit. SOCMA prefers that Congress make the tax credit permanent, not one-year extensions. The uncertainty of our nation’s tax laws impairs our members’ ability to make effective business decisions. Not knowing whether the R&D tax credit will be extended makes it harder for companies of all sizes to manage their research budgets and could even lead some companies to locate research projects in foreign countries with more attractive tax incentives. Nevertheless, approving an extension for another year is better than doing nothing at all. The Senate needs to finally approve S. 2886.
“In an uncertain economy, it is irresponsible for Congress to put politics ahead of offering incentives to one of the largest contributors to America’s economic engine, which is manufacturer exports,” said Joe Acker, President of SOCMA. “Tax credits for research and development are invaluable to chemical manufacturers, especially small and mid-sized firms. They go a long way toward enabling our industry to continue to provide products that improve our daily lives,” he said. “Given the amount we export, our products are clearly valuable to other nations as well, which, in turn, benefits America’s economy.”
Additionally, SOCMA calls on the House of Representatives to put partisanship aside and approve the pending free trade agreements, most notably the Colombia FTA. Not voting on this agreement demonstrates a lack of leadership and puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage to other nations. Approving the agreement would open up another trading market to U.S. manufacturers, creating jobs and contributing to the health of the American economy.
“Congress has a golden opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to our nation’s economic welfare and job creation,” Acker said. “By extending the R&D tax credit and approving lingering free trade agreements, Congress would give chemical manufacturing additional ability to keep our economy moving forward.”
SOCMA is the leading trade association, serving the specialty-batch and custom chemical industry since 1921. SOCMA’s nearly 300 members employ more than 100,000 workers across the country and produce 50,000 products valued at $60 billion annually. For more information please visit www.socma.org.
ChemStewards® is SOCMA’s flagship environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) continuous performance improvement program. ChemStewards was created from industry’s commitment to reducing the environmental footprint left by member’s facilities. Industry created ChemStewards to meet the unique needs of the batch, custom, and specialty chemical industry. As a mandatory requirement for SOCMA members engaged in the manufacturing or handling of synthetic and organic chemicals, ChemStewards is helping participants reach for superior EHS&S performance. To learn more visit www.chemstewards.com.
What Members Are Saying…
“Compared to many other associations, SOCMA is much more of a working organization. The staff is very proactive and on top of issues. But equally important is the level of participation from members. People come to SOCMA to really take part and to try to address the issues.”
Vice President, Marketing
Dixie Chemical Company