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Chemistry: The cornerstone of our economy

Today ACC released the 2013 Guide to the Business of Chemistry and June’s Chemical Activity Barometer, providing concrete statistics illustrating that this continues to be an exciting and dynamic time for the business of American chemistry.

Access to abundant new supplies of natural gas from shale deposits is driving unprecedented new growth, investment and economic expansion within the domestic petrochemical sector. The chemistry industry is clearly a cornerstone of our economic future.

As you’ll see in ACC’s updated Business of Chemistry by the Numbers  fact sheet, American chemistry:

— is a $770 billion enterprise;
— supports nearly 25 percent of the U.S. GDP;
— provides almost 800,000 good-paying American jobs; and
— accounts for more than 12 percent of the nation’s exports.

New economics of shale gas

We are poised to continue this growth. After years of high, volatile natural gas prices, the new economics of shale gas are creating a competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers.

At the end of the first quarter of 2013, nearly 100 projects have been publicly announced, including new plants, restarts or expansions that could generate $72 billion in chemical industry capital investments and $67 billion in additional economic output.

But in order to make these investments a reality, we need sound policies that encourage expansion, innovation and economic growth through a predictable regulatory environment.

Chemical Safety Improvement Act

Last month we witnessed the introduction of the historic “Chemical Safety Improvement Act” (CSIA), a bipartisan compromise bill to reform TSCA. The CSIA takes a balanced, comprehensive approach to updating the law, which will give consumers more confidence in the safety of chemicals, while at the same time encouraging innovation, economic growth and job creation by American manufacturers.

At a time when the chemical industry is driving a national manufacturing renaissance, a sensible, strong and workable bipartisan solution to modernize TSCA as laid out in the CSIA is more important than ever, not only for our industry, but for the countless others that rely on chemical products.

Chemical Activity Barometer

As we see in this month’s Chemical Activity Barometer, the growth of the industry continues every month. In fact, this month virtually all production-related indicators strengthened. Rising activity in construction-related plastic resins, coatings, pigments and other chemistry suggests the recovery in housing is continuing. As a result, housing continues to recover and the consumer-led expansion is still in place.

We continue to show expansion of the U.S. economy, albeit slowly, which is why it is imperative that Congress puts into place sound regulatory policies and legislation, such as the CSIA, ensuring that chemical manufacturing companies throughout the U.S. can continue to drive innovations to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable future, create jobs and power economic growth, and enhance safety for consumers.

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