The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) unveiled a list of outstanding legislative priorities that require Congress's attention in the next few months to help specialty chemical manufacturers grow their businesses, innovate new technologies, and provide greater public confidence in their products.
Leading the "to do list" is Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform, renewal of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), permanent extension of the R&D Tax Credit, and reforming the Surface Transportation Board.
"Products that SOCMA members make enable the production of thousands of other products made by other manufacturers," said Bill Allmond, SOCMA's vice president of government and public relations. "What we need Congress to understand is inaction on policies that support our specialty manufacturing hurts not only our industry but the countless others that depend upon us, from health care to personal care to our military.
"With the MTB, specialty chemical manufacturers substantially save from duty suspensions on raw materials that can't be purchased in the U.S. These savings help them grow their businesses and be more globally competitive.
"There's also the R&D Tax Credit," Allmond said. "Due to the highly innovative nature of our industry, significant R&D is devoted to developing a product before it's sold in the marketplace. Temporary Congressional extension of the R&D Tax Credit creates uncertainty and impedes innovation. This tax credit should be permanent."
TSCA reform has been a key issue before Congress for the past two years and a longtime priority for SOCMA. The House overwhelmingly approved the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 on June 23, but the Senate has yet to pass S. 697, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. "Stakeholders are aligned on the need for TSCA reform, so we encourage Congress to take action on this critical issue now," said Allmond.
SOCMA is also calling for Congress to reform the Surface Transportation Board, which has been the focus of numerous government reports detailing major deficiencies. With railroad shipping rates skyrocketing, SOCMA hopes the House will take the Senate's lead and pass reforms that would make the board a more effective agency.
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