WASHINGTON (August 31, 2020) – The following statement may be attributed to the American Chemistry Council (ACC) in response to recent misreporting regarding industry’s position on U.S.-Kenya trade negotiations:
“America’s plastic makers are committed to recovering used plastics from the environment – both in the United States and in developing countries around the globe. Emerging technologies together with better recycling and new product designs are changing business models and bringing a new era of excitement and hope to the challenge of managing plastic waste.
“The chemical industry welcomed an opportunity earlier this year to contribute our knowledge and expertise on trade and plastics as part of a public comment period around newly launched trade negotiations between the United States and Kenya. ACC submitted public comments and participated in a public hearing along with a diverse group of other organizations who are equally committed to engaging in dialogue about how these issues may impact their constituents.
“It is well understood that a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Kenya will not override Kenya’s domestic approach to managing plastic waste or undermine its international commitments under the Basel Convention. In fact, ACC never mentioned Kenya’s approach to single use plastic bags even once in our comments. Reports that Kenya could be forced to rescind its domestic ban on plastic bags, or make any other regulatory decisions, are grossly inaccurate. Misreporting such facts is a disservice especially to Kenya, which is making strides toward becoming a wealthier, cleaner, healthier and more sustainable country with the support of all stakeholders, including industry.
“The U.S. chemical industry has publicly recommended to the United States government various approaches for the U.S. and Kenya to consider that could help Kenya reach its social, economic, and environmental goals. For example, industry has publicly supported calls to help Kenya more effectively address marine debris by developing infrastructure to collect and sort used plastics, which have been recognized as a valuable feedstock resource. With the support of better waste management infrastructure, countries can recycle and reuse valuable materials and trade them across borders.
“Ultimately, a successful trade agreement between the U.S. and Kenya will depend on mutual understanding and a deep respect for the sovereignty of each nation to decide what is best for its people. ACC will continue to strongly encourage both sides to reach a clear agreement that advances and supports one another’s goals while maintaining sovereignty over their respective regulatory programs.”