ACC CEO testifies to US Congress, stressing importance of freight rail recovery for a resilient supply chain; to make American manufacturing internationally competitive, moving more chemicals by rail will be vital, CEO says

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May 12, 2023 (press release) –

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2023) — In testimony to Congress, the American Chemistry Council’s President and CEO, Chris Jahn, stressed the importance of a resilient supply chain and shared recommendations on how to get freight rail back on track. 

“Quite simply – if we want to make more things in America rather than in places like China, we must manufacture and move more chemicals in America,” Jahn said. “For that to happen we must fix our nation’s transportation supply chain and make it stronger than ever.”

Big Challenges Remain

Jahn noted that railroads have made some progress and recovered from some of the pandemic related issues as demand has eased. However, he explained that many rail service problems continue to negatively impact ACC members.

In fact, ACC’s latest supply chain survey of member companies found that freight transportation challenges are far from over.

More than 80% of companies report that despite recent improvements, conditions remain worse than they were prior to the pandemic. The survey found that 30% of companies said rail service problems were worse in the second half of last year, and more than three quarters reported worse service than before the pandemic.

Congressional Action

Jahn concluded by asking Congress to ensure that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is equipped to address freight rail issues and complete proceedings in a timely manner, including the Board’s proceeding on reciprocal switching.

He also asked Congress to act on measures that would hold the railroads accountable for poor service and allow more shippers to have rail issues addressed by the STB.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.



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