The president and CEO of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), Lawrence D. Sloan, issued the following statement in response to the President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday:
Trade – Passage of Trade Promotion Authority and Ratification of Pending Free Trade Agreements
“We are encouraged by the President’s commitment to pursuing a robust trade agenda in 2015. Until now the President’s outward support for trade policy, specifically Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) has been lacking. TPA is the key to ensuring high quality outcomes from free trade agreements currently being negotiated, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) with the Asia-Pacific region. Passing TPA will signal to our trading partners that there is a path forward for these trade agreements to be concluded, considered and passed.
“Tonight’s speech has given us hope for progress on trade policy and we continue to call on President Obama and lawmakers to support swift action on a bipartisan TPA bill. With the President’s vow of action as well as support from Congressional leadership, the political stars are aligned for TPA passage this year.
“Chemicals are an important U.S. export, representing 16% of all manufactured goods exported from the United States. Specialty chemical exports, in particular, play a critical role within the supply chain of foreign markets to which our industry exports. The specialty chemical industry drives the overall economy, creating some 80,000 jobs and ranked as one of highest paid employers in the manufacturing sector. Successful conclusion on pending free trade agreements, starting with passage of TPA, will only grow these numbers.”
Taxes – SOCMA supports a comprehensive, pro-growth approach to tax reform
“Tonight, the President revealed a ‘wish-list’ of piecemeal tax increases designed to ‘help the middle class’. Over 80% of SOCMA’s membership is comprised of small businesses, and the unfortunate reality is the President’s proposal would ultimately increase an already heavy tax burden on our members.
“Small businesses are America’s innovators. Any increase in tax rates – especially without any kind of comprehensive, pro-growth plan in place – will stunt our industry’s claim to fame as a global leader in innovation. The more time our members must spend on tax compliance, the less time and resources they can invest in creating new products, investing in capital improvements, and providing highly-skilled jobs. We call on President Obama to work with Congress to advance comprehensive tax reform policy that also encourages research and development here in the U.S.”
Cybersecurity - Protecting American Businesses from Cyber Threats
“Cybersecurity is a critical issue for our industry as generators of highly valuable intellectual property, an increasing amount of which is stored ‘in the cloud’. Recent corporate data breaches have reaffirmed the need for a concentrated effort to enhance cybersecurity measures. SOCMA supports ongoing efforts by the President and lawmakers to pursue a bipartisan approach to curbing cyber threats.
“Much like the passage of legislation to reauthorize the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, which the President signed into law last year, we are optimistic that both parties can come together and work to find common ground that will help address privacy concerns of American businesses of all sizes.”
SOCMA is the only U.S.-based trade association dedicated solely to the specialty chemical industry. Visit www.socma.com.
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