American Chemistry Council releases 2023 business profile highlighting US as world's second-largest global chemical producer; industry accounts for more than 10% of all US goods exports

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September 8, 2023 (press release) –

WASHINGTON (September 8, 2023) — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) published the 2023 edition of the Guide to the Business of Chemistry, a comprehensive profile of the U.S. chemistry industry and its contributions to domestic and global economies.

11%

Of chemicals are produced by the U.S., the world’s second largest producer

American chemistry is the world’s second-largest producer, providing 11% of its chemicals and over 10% of all U.S. goods exports. It is one of America’s largest manufacturing industries, a $639 billion enterprise providing 555,000 skilled, high-paying jobs. For every chemistry industry job, more than six jobs are supported elsewhere in the economy. Industries that rely on chemistry include building and construction, automotive, computers and electronics, medical equipment and supplies, furniture, household appliances, agriculture, and many more.

The chemical industry is also a leader in capital investment, with more than $26 billion in new spending in 2022. These investments include projects to expand capacity in order to meet growing demand and make industry operations more sustainable.

“In addition to investing in sustainable manufacturing operations, the chemical industry makes significant contributions to making other sectors more sustainable through innovative products, including chemistries for battery storage technologies, photovoltaics, and direct air capture of carbon dioxide,” said Martha Moore, ACC’s chief economist. “Year after year the Guide shows that chemical industry capital expenditures into developing sustainable solutions continues to expand and grow. In a recent survey, ACC members reported that 25% of their capital budgets are allocated to sustainable manufacturing.”

This year’s Guide to the Business of Chemistry includes a new section examining the importance and impact of regulations. Chemical manufacturing is the most heavily regulated subsector of manufacturing with more than one million restrictions in place that apply directly to our operations, a total that has doubled in the past 20 years. On top of this, there are a great number of planned rules targeting chemical manufacturing that will increase the compliance costs by 50%, bringing the annual compliance costs for our industry up to roughly $4 billion a year.

Chris Jahn, ACC’s president & CEO
The massive increase in regulation and lack of coordination in the Biden Administration is hindering our industry’s ability to create products that are important to supporting national priorities, including the manufacture of semiconductors and electric vehicles. Unless the White House takes a different approach to how it creates, reviews and applies regulations, critical chemistries will suffer—and the important products they support will suffer as well.

Prepared annually by ACC’s Economics and Statistics Department, the Guide to the Business of Chemistry divides the U.S. chemical industry into a dozen categories, ranging from inorganic chemicals to plastic resins, coatings and other specialty chemicals, and fertilizers to consumer products. Within each segment, the report highlights distinct characteristics including recent growth trends.

Individual sections of the guide cover a variety of topics in detail. These include financial performance; U.S. and global trade; innovation; capital investment; employment; environmental, health and safety statistics; regulation; energy; and distribution. Charts and graphs illustrate data and provide comparisons with the past several years.

The 2023 Guide to the Business of Chemistry is available on ACC’s website. The Guide, along with comprehensive data tables dating back to 1990, may be purchased through the ACC Store.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safety and sustainably—for generations to come.

 

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