Plastics groups like infrastructure plan but want recycling included
Plastics groups say they see opportunities for manufacturers in President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan, although it does not include direct funding for one of the industry's priorities, money for recycling infrastructure.
The plan introduced March 31 includes $300 billion over eight years for various manufacturing and business initiatives to bolster U.S. supply chains, electrify vehicle production and boost U.S. computer chip production.
Plastics and manufacturing groups said they welcomed the focus on upgrading transportation and energy networks, with the National Association of Manufacturers saying the proposal reflects many of its own infrastructure investment ideas.
But the plan also did not include any direct funding for upgrading recycling systems, something plastics groups have been pushing as they seek legislative help to increase plastic recycling rates.
"We need further investment in recycling infrastructure to bring us closer to our shared goal of sustainability, but we are disappointed this was not made a priority," said Tony Radoszewski, president and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association.
Both the American Chemistry Council and the Consumer Brands Association, in separate statements, said they believe recycling could be added to the plan as Congress begins writing the legislation to go with it.
ACC said the Biden plan is "ripe with opportunities to drive toward more robust national recycling standards."
"We strongly encourage the president and Congress to designate local recycling infrastructure as 'critical,' and to dedicate resources toward restarting and ultimately strengthening community-based recycling," said Joshua Baca, ACC's vice president of plastics.
Several of the industry groups took issue with corporate tax increases that would fund the extra spending.
"We do have grave concerns with tax provisions in the proposed plan that would make America less competitive, stifle innovation and interfere with our ability to invest," said Chris Jahn, ACC's president and CEO.
The National Association of Manufacturers said reversing the 2017 corporate tax cuts would make U.S. industry less competitive globally and urged Biden to find other revenue sources.
NAM pointed to its own 2019 "Building to Win" infrastructure report that called for a 15 cent increase in the gas tax as well as bond financing, among other options.
"Raising taxes on manufacturers would fundamentally undermine our ability to lead this recovery," said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. "We can achieve the president's investment objectives while holding firm against financing proposals that would severely harm the ability of manufacturers to invest and hire workers here in the U.S."
Biden's plan would raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent and establish what the White House called a "global minimum tax" of 21 percent for U.S. corporations to reduce what it said are "tax havens" on their profits in other countries.
Still, Timmons said the White House proposal reflects many NAM priorities, including in workforce development.
"We look forward to reviewing the details," Timmons said.