According to William E. Allmond, SOCMA vice president of government and public relations, despite rising regulatory costs, raw material prices and overseas competition, Congress decided that now isn’t a convenient time to provide duty suspension relief for specialty chemical manufacturers.
“Including the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill in its conference report on the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 should have been an easy task,” insisted Allmond. “While the bill includes many important outcomes on customs enforcement and intellectual property, there is continuing frustration among SOCMA members that there is no way forward for the MTB.”
According to Allmond, SOCMA members have been unable to take advantage of the benefits the MTB provides since Congress failed to renew the bill in December 2012, and many have been locked out of the process.
“SOCMA members’ ability to innovate is one of the few sources of competitive advantage, and without the MTB, they incur higher prices for raw materials, R&D activity becomes more difficult, and their competitiveness declines in the global marketplace,” Allmond concluded.
SOCMA is urging the House and Senate to quickly fulfill their pledge to find a way forward on passing the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.
In other news, Charles “Chuck” Bennett of Dixie Chemical was elected to a two-year term as SOCMA chairman during the association’s 94th annual business meeting in New York City. Having served in the chemical industry for nearly 40 years, Bennett brings depth and breadth of knowledge to the role. Bennett succeeds J. Steel Hutchinson, president and CEO of GFS Chemicals, Inc.