Flawed Study Claims Regulation Drives Innovation in Chemical Sector

By May 12, 2011General

Additional regulations will actually create jobs? That’s what the BlueGreen Alliance and the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) would have us think in a new study titled “The Economic Benefits of a Green Chemical Industry in the United States.” The study argues that more burdensome industry requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) will create jobs and drive innovation.

Manufacturers have first-hand knowledge that piling on additional and unnecessary regulations keep them from doing what they do best – helping to boost our fragile economy by expanding production and creating new jobs in the manufacturing sector. And what this alliance of labor unions and environmental activists is actually proposing is to undermine intellectual property rights, the sine qua non of innovation in this country.

Specifically, the study claims that TSCA reforms are needed to encourage the dissemination of “environmental and health-related information on the chemical industry as widely as possible to improve the choices available to consumers, workers, downstream users, and investors and to mobilize investment in emerging oppor­tunities.” To compete in today’s global economy, manufacturers depend on federal government protections of Confidential Business Information (CBI) regarding their products. If TSCA reform made this information publicly available, manufacturers would be discouraged from making product investments and also developing new “green” chemicals and consumer products.

The National Association of Manufacturers believes that TSCA reform should be practical and achievable, but the policy recommendations in the BlueGreen Alliance study would place unworkable restrictions on many of our nation’s manufacturers. The result: continued off-shoring of high-paying manufacturing jobs.

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