SOCMA stands with the more than 100 major trade associations in urgently calling for enhanced maritime security and safety in the Red Sea. The specialty chemical industry recognizes the critical importance of secure ocean shipping routes for the reliable transportation of essential goods, including chemicals vital to various sectors. We urge governments worldwide to unite behind initiatives such as Operation Prosperity Guardian to safeguard maritime commerce, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of trade and protecting the safety of seafarers. The prosperity of our industries and the global economy hinges on the preservation of safe and secure freedom of navigation.

February 8, 2024
To Whom It May Concern:

As representatives of organizations whose members depend on safe and secure ocean shipping
routes, we urgently call on countries to join, support, or align with the mission to support safe and secure maritime commerce in the Red Sea – such as that of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational security initiative with at least 23 participating countries to date. Alignment around such efforts ensures that the world’s governments can work together to defend maritime security not only in the Red Sea but also across the globe.

Maritime safety and security are vital for our collective industries, and the overall global economy. It is imperative that governments unite behind a zero-tolerance approach to deter attacks on commercial vessels and seafarers in the Red Sea, and anywhere in the world. The prosperity of millions of people who are employed in our industries and in the global maritime industry depends on safe and secure freedom of navigation.

The Red Sea is vital and moves 30 percent of the world’s trade, including critical items like food and agricultural products, energy, clothing, shoes, electronics, and medicine. Terrorist attacks in the Red Sea imperil the safety and security of crew and cargo, which is now forcing carriers to divert to other routes.

These attacks have already caused upwards of $80 billion in cargo to be diverted around the Cape of Good Hope. Traveling around the Cape of Good Hope adds at least 2-3 weeks of travel and hundreds of thousands in additional fuel and labor costs compared to traveling through the Suez Canal. This alternative route becomes even more challenging during the Southern Hemisphere winter months.

The consequences of these attacks extend beyond immediate financial losses. Route changes are causing port congestion, equipment shortages, and soaring shipping rates across the globe, all of which create inflationary impacts. Even shipping lanes on the other side of the world from the Red Sea are beginning to be adversely affected. The ripple effects in cost and capacity issues for the industries that depend upon safe and secure maritime commerce are incalculable, particularly since global transportation is already strained from reduced access to the drought-ridden Panama Canal.

This is truly a global problem that demands the participation and support of all nations that rely on global trade.

It is imperative that countries that have not yet joined or aligned with this vital mission do so immediately. Widespread participation and cooperation among nations are essential to signal the importance of free and fair treatment in international waters.


Accessories Council Leathergoods And Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB)
Advanced Textiles Association Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight
African Coalition for Trade Maritime Association of the Port of NY & NJ
Agricultural Retailers Association MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association
Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) Minnesota Retailers Association
Airforwarders Association Missouri Retailers Association
Alliance for Chemical Distribution Motorcycle Industry Council
Amcot National Aquaculture Association
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI)
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ)
American Bridal and Prom Industry Association National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
American Chemistry Council National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)
American Circular Textiles (ACT) National Fisheries Institute
American Down & Feather Council National Grain and Feed Association
American Home Furnishings Alliance National Retail Federation (NRF)
American Pyrotechnics Association National Sporting Goods Association
AmericanHort National Wooden Pallet & Container Association
APICCAPS – Portuguese Footwear, Components, Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association Network Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD)
Assocalzaturifici Italiani – Italian Footwear Manufacturers’ Association New York New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association Inc
Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)
Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association (ABIT) North American Export Grain Association
California Fashion Association North American Renderers Association
California Retailers Association Oregon Business & Industry
Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers Ltd Outdoor Industry Association (OIA)
Cashmere & Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute (CCMI) Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Assoc (PCC)
CEC- European Footwear Confederation Pet Food Institute
Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) Plumbing Manufacturers International
Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT) Polish Chamber of Shoe and Leather Industry (PIPS)
Columbia River Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association PRINTING United Alliance
Consumer Brands Association Promotional Products Association International
Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association
Council of Fashion Designers of American (CFDA) Retail Council of Canada
CSCMP – Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Retail Council of New York State
Customs Brokers & International Freight Forwarders Association of Washington State Retail Innovation Club (RIC)
Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of Northern California Retail Merchants of Hawaii
EURATEX – The European Apparel and Textile Confederation Retailers Association of Massachusetts
Fashion and Accessories Shipper Association (FASA) San Diego Customs Brokers Association
Fashion and Textil Chamber – ANDI Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association
Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association (FJATA) Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA)
Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA) Shipping Association of New York & New Jersey
Forwarders Association Shoe Manufacturers’ Association of Canada
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA)
International Wood Products Association South Dakota Soybean Association
International Housewares Association Specialty Vehicle Institute of America
International Fresh Produce Association Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)
International Apparel Federation (IAF) Taiwan Textile Federation
Illinois Soybean Growers Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc.
Home Fashion Products Association The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
Halloween & Costume Association (HCA) The Fertilizer Institute
Gemini Shippers Association  U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Global Cold Chain Alliance U.S. Fashion Industry Association
Greenabl Shippers U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition (USGVC)
Green Coffee Association Washington Retail Association
  West Texas New Mexico Customs Brokers Association


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