"Skinny NAFTA" deal a possibility, says Mnuchin | ACC defends EPA's science transparency proposal | Pruitt: EPA, "federal partners" are working to address PFAS
May 22, 2018
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"Skinny NAFTA" deal a possibility, says Mnuchin
The US is seeking a North American Free Trade Agreement overhaul that the three countries and Congress would approve, but President Donald Trump would also consider a "skinny NAFTA" that doesn't require congressional approval, says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
CNBC (5/21),  The Examiner (Washington, D.C.) (5/21) 
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The Next Evolution in Polyethylene Technology
LyondellBasell's new Hyperzone PE technology produces HDPE that enables our customers to obtain an optimal balance between ease of processing and high performance end-product physical properties. Learn more about our latest innovation.
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Policy Watch
ACC defends EPA's science transparency proposal
The American Chemistry Council says the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal on transparency in the science used for rulemakings is appropriate, protects privacy and access to research data, and is "virtually the same as the agency's policy put into place by Gina McCarthy during the Obama Administration."
Chemical Watch (subscription required) (5/22) 
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Pruitt: EPA, "federal partners" are working to address PFAS
The Environmental Protection Agency doesn't have the authority to release the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's toxicology profile on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and isn't blocking its publication, says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA is working with our federal partners to participate in a unified dialogue and to promote the development of science and tools so that there is a cohesive effort to tackle this important issue," Pruitt wrote in a letter to Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich.
E&E News (subscription required) (5/22) 
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ACC's Brzytwa: Chinese tariffs would harm US competitiveness
Trade issues between the US and China could lead chemical producers and other manufacturers to shift production from the US, said the American Chemistry Council's Ed Brzytwa and Saudi Basic Industries Corp.'s Greg Skelton during a federal hearing this month.
Plastics News (tiered subscription model) (5/22) 
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EU continues to seek exemption from US tariffs
The EU has failed to persuade the US to exempt the bloc from steel and aluminum tariffs, said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom. Australia, Argentina, Brazil and South Korea have received exemptions contingent on import quotas.
Reuters (5/22) 
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Industry Watch
US close to being a net methanol exporter
The US has been bringing methanol capacity online in recent years and is close to being a net exporter, but those facilities have gotten more expensive to construct in recent years, Lane Kelley writes. Labor and construction costs make startup more expensive, although operational costs are below average, says ICIS senior consultant James Ray.
ICIS Chemical Business (UK) (5/17) 
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Covestro looking to acquire firms, finance chief says
Covestro has good debt and cash standing but hasn't moved into making acquisitions since being spun out by Bayer, says Covestro Chief Financial Officer Thomas Toepfer. An acquisition would justify increased leverage, he said.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/17) 
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3M creates unit to target sustainability goals
3M is creating the Sustainability and Product Stewardship Organization to advance its sustainability agenda, which includes reducing energy consumption and waste.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (5/21) 
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Research & Innovation
Radioactivity trapped by mixing waste with liquid glass
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have demonstrated they can trap radioactivity for a long period of time by mixing radioactive waste with liquid glass, which then solidifies. "The radioactive elements are chemically bound as part of the glass material, and the glass material is a durable waste form that isolates the radioactivity from the environment for a very long time," lead researcher Will Eaton said.
LiveScience (5/21) 
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Leadership & Management
How CEOs can maximize return on innovation
Companies developing a new technology can make it more lucrative to larger businesses by building relationships with them early on, writes Kurt Estes. CEOs should also team with legal and financial experts during negotiations to assure they're positioned for the best offer and don't settle too soon, he writes.
Chief Executive online (5/14) 
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ACC News
ACC announces support for action at PFAS Summit
The American Chemistry Council was pleased to participate today in EPA's National Leadership Summit to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances. ACC Senior Director of Global Fluoro-Chemistry Jessica Bowman presented to attendees the historical and current uses of PFAS and expressed industry support for a process based on the best available science to determine, as appropriate, maximum contaminant levels and cleanup levels for PFOS, PFOA and other legacy PFAS. Read more.
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ICCA-LRI workshop announced in partnership with EPA and Health Canada
The International Council of Chemical Associations' Long-Range Research Initiative is hosting its annual workshops that bring together international representatives from industry, academia, and governmental and non-governmental organizations to address issues of mutual interest in chemical safety. The workshop will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, on June 20 and 21. Read more.
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The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of the American Chemistry Council.
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