Trade policy that rewards carbon efficient production would be a win for the U.S. chemicals industry and
its workers.

The Opportunity

The chemicals industry is a driver of the U.S. economy.

The largest U.S.
manufacturing sector

The largest source of U.S. exports

Supports 4.1 million jobs

Footprint in 47 states

As the global economy decarbonizes, the chemicals sector is poised to play a pivotal role. Chemical products serve as ingredients in the fuels and technologies that are essential for cutting emissions.

lightweight materials used
in automobiles
building insulation
hydrogen fuel
coatings to improve the
efficiency of solar panels

The sector itself offers a huge decarbonization opportunity. Today, it is the third largest source of direct industrial emissions after iron & steel and cement.

U.S Carbon Advantage in Chemicals

U.S. chemicals manufacturers are 10-40% more carbon efficient than the global average, across five of the most common bulk chemicals, a study from the Climate Leadership Council found. The U.S. chemicals industry benefits from ready access to efficiently produced raw materials and lower-carbon electricity.

The U.S. carbon efficiency advantage over China is particularly stark. The U.S. is 2x as efficient in producing ammonia, an ingredient in fertilizer. It is 3x as efficient in polypropylene, an ingredient in plastic.

Unlocking Our Carbon Advantage

Today’s international trade rules do not reward carbon efficient producers nor penalize carbon intensive producers.

New trade rules that reward carbon efficiency would hand U.S. chemicals manufacturers an instant competitive advantage over less efficient producers. Investments would flow to existing and new facilities to boost efficiency and lower emissions.

Over time, higher carbon production would lose out to lower carbon production, as incentives would drive all global producers to compete on the basis of environmental performance. U.S. chemicals manufacturers are likely to see their market share grow.

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