Chemistry: It’s in everything – from air and water, to the products and technologies we use every day – and is essential to our everyday lives. Life-saving medicines, clean drinking water, protective packaging materials, stronger adhesives, lightweight automobile parts and more durable and safer tires are only a few of the thousands of innovative products of the business of chemistry. In fact, over 96% of all manufactured goods are directly touched by chemistry.
The business of chemistry is a $797 billion enterprise – that’s larger than the apparel and footwear, motor vehicle or aerospace industries. In addition, the business of chemistry is the driving force behind growth and expansion of the U.S. economy, accounting for 26% of the GDP and 14% of exports, the largest exporter in the U.S.
Additionally, capital investment by the business of chemistry reached nearly $44 billion in 2015, and our industry is providing 810,000 skilled, good-paying jobs. That number stands to grow as new facilities come online, in fact a great example of this is the recent announcement of Shell Chemical’s new ethane cracker in Beaver County, PA, which will employ thousands during construction and 600 during operation. This decision lays the groundwork for the future of supply and demand and opens the door for similar facilities to be built throughout the country.
The business of chemistry continues to encourage expansion, innovation and economic growth through a predictable regulatory environment. This is why we continuously advocated for a balanced and comprehensive approach to updating our nation’s chemical regulatory framework, which just this month was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama – a historic victory for ACC, the chemical industry and American consumers. TSCA reform allows Americans to have greater confidence that the chemicals they come into contact with are safe for their intended use, while also encouraging innovation and protecting jobs.
You can learn more about the business of chemistry and its contributions to the U.S. and world economies in ACC’s 2016 Guide to the Business of Chemistry, our most comprehensive resource profiling the economics of this growth engine industry.