China Tariffs Could Dent US Chemicals

China Tariffs Could Dent US Chemicals

Nearly US$185 billion of investment in the U.S. chemicals sector may be at risk due to escalating trade war with China, according to the American Chemistry Council.

The ACC has highlighted concerns that increased tariffs may convince investors to do business elsewhere, hitting chemical factories, expansions and restarts of facilities and denting breakbulk demand in the sector.

“China is one of the U.S. chemical industry’s most important trading partners, importing 11 percent, or US$3.2 billion, of all U.S. plastic resins in 2017. We are particularly concerned that 40 percent of the products to which China has assigned new tariffs are chemicals, including polyethylene, PVC, polycarbonates, acrylates, and others,” said Cal Dolley, ACC CEO.

The announcement follows further retaliatory tariffs imposed by both sides this week, with the U.S. adding US$50 billion of tariffs as it announced 25 percent tariffs on 1,300 products, covering everything from industrial robots and electronics to metal alloys and aircraft parts.

China responded with a further US$50 billion of tariffs targeting U.S. soybeans, automobiles and chemicals.

Photo: The tariffs will hit U.S. plastic resin plants. Credit: Wikimedia