“We are disappointed that the Administration has not listened to our requests to keep America’s thriving chemical manufacturing industry and our products out of the crosshairs of a trade war. With the release today of a second list of 284 proposed tariff lines, which includes a large amount of plastics, lubricating oils, and other chemicals valued at $2.2 billion, the Administration has now pit U.S. chemical manufacturing directly against China at the front lines of this conflict. We appreciate, and will vigorously utilize, the opportunity to share our comments and concerns with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and others in the coming weeks to prevent this situation from escalating further.
“Chemistry touches 96 percent of all manufactured goods and is the foundation for the entire North American supply chain. What gives chemistry a competitive advantage – lower U.S. feedstock and chemical production facility costs – ultimately helps reduce costs for American businesses and consumers and has turned the U.S. business of chemistry into one of America’s top exporting industries, accounting for 14 percent of all U.S. exports. In fact, China is one of the U.S. chemical industry’s most important trading partners, importing 11 percent, or $3.2 billion, of all U.S. plastic resins in 2017. Enabling a retaliatory trade war will only advantage China’s growing industry at the expense of American production.
“Recognizing the importance of U.S. chemicals to our economy, China will continue to retaliate against U.S. chemical manufacturers with tariffs on exports of raw, building-block chemicals and on the numerous products that are made with chemicals, such as agricultural goods and autos. As many as 24,000 U.S. jobs in the chemicals and downstream sectors would be lost as a result of the downturn in demand for those products. We anticipate significant disruptions to supply chain operations, offshoring of production, and termination of production altogether due the sudden, uneven playing field that duties would create in the global marketplace. As much as half of $194 billion in planned chemical industry investment could be vulnerable to delay or abandonment.
“The U.S. business of chemistry is proud to call itself the world’s low-cost producer of chemicals and our country’s leading exporting industry. We strongly urge the Administration and Congress to come together immediately to halt this destructive trade war, which will harm U.S. chemical manufacturers and the countless downstream customers that rely on our products.”