New Infrastructure Proposal Important Step Forward But Falls Short
WASHINGTON (June 25, 2021) The White House, along with a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, recently unveiled a new agreement called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. The proposal contains $579 billion in spending on much needed physical infrastructure improvements and a variety of funding mechanisms, unfortunately including the reinstatement of the Superfund taxes on the U.S. business of chemistry.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) released the following statement from its President and CEO Chris Jahn regarding the new proposal:
“Fixing our nation’s infrastructure is one the country’s biggest challenges and greatest opportunities. It’s a challenge that our industry welcomes since just about every facet of chemical manufacturing depends on a robust infrastructure system. Our industry is also central to providing the resilient and sustainable materials necessary for building a 21stcentury infrastructure that will benefit all Americans.
“Unfortunately the recently announced infrastructure agreement contains a misguided pay-for that will only serve to damage and stifle a bright spot in America’s economy, the U.S. business of chemistry, at a fragile time of economic recovery when our nation can least afford it. We strongly oppose the reinstatement of Superfund chemical taxes, which would target all chemical manufacturers – and some other industries – regardless of whether there is a connection to a Superfund site. ACC member facilities make up less than 2% of Superfund sites, and they are paying for cleanup.
“These taxes would impose new costs on U.S. chemical manufacturers and our customers – companies that produce most manufactured goods. This could lead to a decline in U.S. production capacity in favor of foreign competitors whose goods would bear no similar tax burden as well as increased costs for Americans and potential job losses. An excise tax on basic materials gives an edge to foreign manufacturers in the production of a variety of goods, including many needed to build and improve infrastructure and create clean energy and climate solutions.
“We commend the Democrats and Republicans for their tenacity and their willingness to listen to each other’s concerns and priorities. Putting together a bipartisan proposal is an important achievement but there is critical work ahead and crucial improvements that must be made to this agreement long before victory can be declared.
“We call on the Senate and White House to listen to our concerns and urge them to work with us on an infrastructure package that will allow our industry to do what we do best - find solutions and create good paying American jobs.”