Manufacturing leader urges chemical firms to work on election outcome

26 September 2012 16:04  [Source: ICIS news]

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (ICIS)--The upcoming US national elections could have profound impact on the nation’s economy and industry for decades, a top manufacturing official said on Wednesday as he urged chemicals sector employers to work to influence the election outcome.

Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), told a specialty chemicals conference that “elections matter”. He said that a second term for President Barack Obama result in more regulations.

He singled out the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

US chemicals producers and other manufacturers, energy firms and general business interests have complained about a wide variety of EPA rules and regulations over the last four years, arguing that regulations are driving US companies offshore and undermining employment and the economy.

He argued that too often regulations issued by the EPA and other federal agencies “are not based on science but on theory”.

Timmons said that the regulatory burden facing US manufacturers aggravates a competitive disadvantage for American producers.

“It is 20% more costly for manufacturers to do business in the US than anywhere else in the world,” he said, “and that is after discounting labour costs.”

“Investors and manufacturers look at those disincentives, the highest corporate tax rate in the world, the regulatory burdens, and those things influence their decisions on where to invest,” he said.

Speaking to about 90 chemicals sector executives at the SOCMA Leadership Conference, Timmons urged them to “get your employees to engage with members of Congress and invite members of Congress to visit your plants”.

“Visit Washington, call on your elected representatives, and bring your employees along,” Timmons said, “because politicians do listen, and they listen more if the choir is large and loud.”

Sponsored by the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), the two-day Leadership Conference opened on Wednesday and concludes on Thursday.

The National Association of Manufacturers represents some 12,000 US production companies from every industrial sector.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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