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Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Includes New Taxes

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Jennifer Scott
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Congress moved one step closer to enacting infrastructure legislation yesterday when Senate lawmakers voted to begin debate on the latest version of their bipartisan deal with the Biden Administration. While the text has not been released yet, all indications are that the plan continues to include $13 billion in new Superfund taxes on 42 chemicals, critical minerals, and metallic elements. Much of cost will be borne by American chemistry, with likely ripple effects to businesses and consumers in the form of higher costs for goods that rely on chemistry components and increased pressure on supply chains already squeezed by the effects of the pandemic. Americans at every income level will be affected.

As our press statement last evening made clear, we agree on the importance of modernizing our nation’s infrastructure, and we welcome bipartisan efforts toward getting legislation across the finish line. All along, we’ve supported the development of legislation to modernize our nation’s roads, rails, bridges, ports, and pipes. We view it as one the country’s biggest challenges and greatest opportunities, with the chemistry industry providing many of the inputs to make it happen.

We’re dismayed that Senate lawmakers and the Biden Administration think it’s a good idea to impose taxes on materials that serve as building blocks for U.S. manufacturing. We’re also disappointed – and confused – to see these reinstated Superfund taxes described as “targeted corporate user fees” and to hear lawmakers say the deal includes no taxes. Make no mistake, these are taxes: The provision is called the ‘Superfund Tax,’ it amends the tax code, and the covered products are called ‘taxable chemicals.’

Chris Jahn, President & CEO, ACC
Without a doubt, these are taxes: The provision is called the Superfund Tax, it amends the tax code, and the covered products are called "taxable chemicals."

While the language used by its supporters may be benign, its costs and impacts are not. We strongly oppose this misguided ‘pay-for,” which singles out an industry that has been a driver of U.S. investment and jobs over the past decade and serves as the first link in America’s manufacturing supply chain. We’ll be engaging with lawmakers and the administration to discuss ways to prevent this far-reaching action and to promote American manufacturing, as President Biden pledged in his speech yesterday, rather than imposing harmful new taxes on critical materials.

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About the Author

As President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Chris is responsible for driving a pro-growth, science-based public policy agenda that fosters the development of groundbreaking products to improve lives; creates jobs and economic expansion; and enhances public and environmental health and safety.

Chris joined ACC in 2019 after serving six years as President and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), where he advocated for policies and regulations focused on enhancing security, free trade, environmental protection, worker health and safety, and farm bill and conservation programs to promote the use of fertilizer.

Prior to joining TFI in 2013, Chris served as president of the National Association of Chemical Distributors for seven years. Earlier in his career he was president of the Contract Services Association. Chris began his career on Capitol Hill, including time as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY).

Chris earned an MBA from the University of Maryland and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University in New York.

A native of Wyoming, Chris and his family live in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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