- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2009


I commend The Washington Times for its editorial objecting to the addition of a product-substitution mandate in a recent chemical-facility anti-terrorism bill (“Chemical insecurity,” Opinion, Tuesday). The bill passed by the House last Friday extends federal power over private business in a way that seriously jeopardizes both supply chain security for vital products and the hundreds of smaller chemical manufacturers that comprise the bulk of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates’ (SOCMA) membership.

SOCMA supports the House’s goal of a safer, more secure chemical sector. However, the House bill contains provisions that put the decision-making process in the hands of government officials, not facility workers who know their processes and products best, and puts both the availability and the quality of products such as pharmaceuticals at risk.

A business faced with a government mandate to change its materials or products for the sake of security may have no choice but to end production or move production abroad, even as quality issues from developing economies are increasingly apparent. At a time when the national unemployment rate has exceeded 10 percent and continues to grow, the United States cannot afford to push more jobs overseas.

Already, small and large facilities alike have made enormous progress in securing their properties against the terrorist threat under existing law. SOCMA looks forward to working with the Senate to ensure that this progress is not interrupted by the addition of an unrealistic, dangerous product-substitution mandate.



Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates


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