SOCMA is keenly aware of the instabilities generated by President Trump’s ambitious trade policy agenda. In fact, SOCMA was founded in 1921 largely to address international trade issues, and the need for enhanced participation in the trade space is increasingly vital.

Given the global nature of chemical manufacturing, growth of the specialty chemical industry depends on the elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers in domestic and international markets. Sound policies for the duty-free import of essential inputs and trade liberalization for increased access to export markets are critical for the industry.

SOCMA’s trade policy initiatives have evolved to facilitate both direct communication with chemical leads at trade-focused federal agencies (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative [USTR], U.S. International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce) and personalized support for members’ tariff mitigation strategy, e.g. exclusion requests, duty drawback, operational engineering, etc.

Trade flows will move away from China in the coming months and take a greater toll on small- and medium-sized goods-producing firms. USTR, for example, is unfamiliar with batch processing and circumstances contributing to the inability to shift production (e.g. capital-intensive nature of the manufacturing process and EHS investment, the need to amend EPA/FDA registrations for active ingredients in certain formulations, plant closures depressing output, etc.), and SOCMA is well suited to collect and develop industry metrics and arguments for members’ enhanced competitiveness in the global market.

As companies reexamine raw materials sources, production lines, and export markets, SOCMA is here to assist in times of trade diversion and investment relocation towards new sources (or tariff relief for existing sources) and a greater general understanding of industry supply chains.

For more information, please reach out to Matthew Moedritzer, liaison to SOCMA’s International Trade Committee.

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