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WASHINGTON (December 10, 2020) – The American Chemistry Council recently participated in the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) virtual Chemical Dialogue (CD) to help foster greater regulatory cooperation, prevent or eliminate barriers to trade, and highlight the critical role the chemical industry is playing in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 25th CD meeting in November brought together more than 100 stakeholders in industry and government who share a commitment to addressing challenging topics, such as marine debris, and finding ways to further harmonize regulatory cooperation throughout the world. In November, the CD also endorsed a new strategic framework that will guide its work through 2022, incorporating the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040’s objectives and a continued commitment by industry to health and safety.

“For the U.S. chemical industry, the APEC CD is the premier forum for discussing chemical trade and regulatory issues in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, which is the world’s fifth largest manufacturing sector. This first virtual meeting set the stage for 2021 collaboration focusing on pandemic response, recovery, resiliency, and sustainability,” ACC’s Director of International Trade Ed Brzytwa said.

The CD also addressed the chemical industry’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the ongoing global pandemic and ways that it can help APEC economies recover through job creation and sustainable development. The ability of chemical manufacturers to produce and transport the chemicals necessary for the production of essential medical products, such as ventilators, personal protective equipment, chemical biocides and disinfectants and much more, is dependent on trade and regulatory cooperation between nations.

“Whether it’s cleaning and disinfecting products to eradicate the virus from surfaces and medical equipment, using masks to prevent the aerosolization and spread of the virus, using syringes for the vaccine, or advancing new chemical innovations to provide insulation needed to keep the vaccine under tightly controlled temperatures, chemicals are a critical part of many essential goods. In fact, 96% of all manufactured goods rely on chemistry” said Sergio Barrientos, industry co-chair of the APEC Chemical Dialogue.

CD participants, which included government authorities, industry representatives, and other stakeholders, discussed ways to avoid and eliminate trade barriers that stand in the way of realizing higher standards of protection for human health and safety and the creation of jobs. Many nations and economies have been devastated by the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creation of such jobs will be critical to recovery. The Asia-Pacific region’s ability recover quickly also depends on governments and industry finding innovative ways to work together to advance solutions for sustainable economic, environmental and social development collaboration that is a foundation of the strategic framework recently adopted by the CD.

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