American chemical businesses may have to consider shifting their production overseas to avoid tariffs, says ACC official

American Chemistry Council (ACC) director of international trade, Ed Brzytwa, responded to the implementation of the US List 3 tariffs, and the subsequent retaliation by China against the US exports.

Ed Brzytwa, director of international trade, American Chemistry Council.
Ed Brzytwa, director of international trade, American Chemistry Council.

“With the US and China imposing another round of tariffs on an increasing number of products, the cost of doing business in the United States is rising. US manufacturers today face a steep climb to retain our position as one of the world’s leading, low-cost producers of chemicals,” said Brzytwa.

A total of 1,517 chemicals and plastics imports from China, valued at $15.4bn, have now been targeted across all three US lists. The tariffs will cut off US manufacturers from international supply chains and from importing inputs that help keep them competitive in the global marketplace,” added Brzytwa.

“At the same time, retaliatory tariffs by China have hit more than 1,000 US chemicals and plastics exports, worth an estimated $10.8bn, erecting a huge barrier to China’s growing markets.”

“The tariffs – in effect a tax – put US chemical manufacturers at a disadvantage, but we are not the only ones that will suffer the impact. Since chemistry touches 96% of all manufactured goods, taxes on our industry will ultimately raise the prices of popular consumer products – everything from cars and trucks to electronics,” explained Brzytwa.

“As with previous tariff rounds, US chemical manufacturers welcome the opportunity to make a case for why more chemicals should be excluded from this round of tariffs. Earlier this month, our industry reached a milestone – surpassing $200bn in announced new chemical investment projects here in the United States. Around half of that investment is still in the planning, or development stages and therefore vulnerable to delay, or abandonment as a result of the new tariffs imposed on our industry.”

“Nearly all of that investment is focused on serving the global market. American businesses, which may have to consider shifting their production overseas to avoid the tariffs, or face the possibility of having to close up shop entirely, deserve the opportunity to be heard,” commented Brzytwa.

“Our industry has been clear that a tit-for-tat trade war will hurt US manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. We call on the US and China to resume negotiations toward an agreement that will eliminate the need for these costly tariffs,” concluded Brzytwa.

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