Contact: Mike Donohue (202) 249-6504
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19, 2011) – Underscoring the importance of access to foreign markets for the business of chemistry and the nation’s economy as a whole, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) today reiterated its support for passage in the U.S. Congress of three pending free trade agreements. ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) detailing its endorsement. » View Cal Dooley's letters: House | Senate
“ACC and its member companies strongly believe that the agreements negotiated with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will create and maintain jobs in the United States and enhance America’s economic security,” said Dooley. “American jobs depend on access to important markets, and the free trade agreements will ensure that access and strengthen our industry’s competitiveness and job creation. Agreements such as these are especially vital for the business of chemistry, one of the nation's largest exporting sectors, with over $171 billion in exports in 2010, accounting for more than ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports.
“The global market for chemistry is intensely competitive, and the protections of a solid free trade agreement can mean the difference between market success and failure,” continued Dooley. “Our members are eager to see the free trade agreements approved and implemented before the August 2011 Congressional recess.”
Dooley pointed out that two-way trade in chemicals to South Korea alone totaled $8.5 billion in 2010, and two-way chemical trade with Colombia and Panama totaled $2.9 billion in the same year. The free trade agreements address a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers the industry faces in each market, and ACC anticipates those measures alone will have an important positive impact. For example, under the Colombian agreement approximately 90 percent of all chemical tariffs will go to zero. In addition, approval of the agreements will help U.S. companies address the market imbalance caused by other nations having concluded such trade pacts.
U.S. chemistry employs nearly 800,000 Americans, and each of those jobs generates another 5.5 jobs in the downstream industries that use and rely on chemistry.