Plastics companies see opportunities for manufacturers in President Joe Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan, even though it doesn’t include direct funding for one of the industry’s priorities, money to recycle infrastructure.
Launched March 31, the plan includes $ 300 billion over eight years for a variety of manufacturing and business initiatives to strengthen U.S. supply chains, electrify vehicle manufacturing, and increase U.S. computer chip production.
Plastics and manufacturing groups welcomed the focus on modernizing transport and energy networks. The National Association of Manufacturers said the proposal reflected many of its own ideas for infrastructure investments.
However, the plan also did not include direct funding for upgrading recycling systems, which plastic companies pushed forward when they sought legislative help to increase plastic recycling rates.
“We need further investment in recycling infrastructure to move closer to our common goal of sustainability. However, we are disappointed that this was not a priority,” said Tony Radoszewski, President and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association.
Both the American Chemistry Council and the Consumer Brands Association issued separate statements that recycling could be included in the plan once Congress begins drafting the relevant laws.
ACC said the Biden plan was “ripe with opportunities to work towards more robust national recycling standards”.
“We strongly encourage the President and Congress to label the local recycling infrastructure as ‘critical’ and allocate resources to restart and ultimately strengthen community-based recycling,” said Joshua Baca, ACC Vice President, Plastics.
Several industry groups had problems with corporate tax increases that would fund the additional spending.
“We have serious concerns about the tax rules in the proposed plan that would make America less competitive, stifle innovation and affect our ability to invest,” said Chris Jahn, president and CEO of ACC.
The National Association of Manufacturers said reversing the 2017 corporate tax cuts would make U.S. industries less competitive globally and urged Biden to find other sources of income.
NAM referred to its own infrastructure report “Building to Win” from 2019, in which, among other things, an increase in gas tax by 15 cents and the financing of bonds were called for.
“An increase in taxes on manufacturers would fundamentally undermine our ability to drive this recovery,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of NAM. “We can meet the president’s investment goals while addressing funding proposals that would seriously affect manufacturers’ ability to invest and hire workers here in the US.”
Biden’s plan would raise the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent and impose what the White House calls a “global minimum tax” of 21 percent for US companies in order to reduce the supposed “tax havens” for their profits in other countries.
Still, Timmons said the White House proposal reflected many of NAM’s priorities, including in workforce development.
“We look forward to checking the details,” said Timmons.