Senate publishes $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure invoice

HOUSTON (ICIS) – The long-awaited text of the Infrastructure Act was recently unveiled in the U.S. Senate after a long negotiation period.

The 2,700-page bill provides for new federal spending of $ 550 billion over five years. It is investing $ 110 billion in rebuilding the country’s roads and bridges, $ 66 billion in passenger and freight transport, $ 65 billion in providing high-speed internet, and $ 17.3 billion. US dollars for ports and waterways, 55 billion bn for the renewal of the power grid.

Also included in the package is US $ 7.5 billion for zero-emission and low-emission buses and ferries and another US $ 7.5 billion to build a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

“We are encouraged to see that the latest Senate proposal contains numerous provisions that will help encourage the development and use of advanced materials necessary to bring our country’s infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Chris Jahn, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council.

“Legislation could allow our industry to help build a stronger electric vehicle network, increase energy efficiency and repair obsolete water systems,” he added.

The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) also commended Senate lawmakers for reaching consensus on the Infrastructure Bill, adding that the bill was a step in the right direction to address maintenance backlogs and congestion in US ports across the country, and improve the country’s rail network.

The bipartisan bill, which is an important part of President Joe Biden’s agenda, will now enter an amendment process that is expected to take a few days due to the previous lengthy Senate negotiation process between Democrats and Republicans.

The bill falls short of the Biden administration’s $ 2.2 trillion proposal presented in March, known as the American Jobs Plan, which included not just federal spending on traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges, but proposals for expansion as well the “human infrastructure” contained.

As the name suggests, the proposals here centered on investments in the welfare network, including paid family leave, expanded tax breaks for children and measures to combat climate change.

Financing the bill

The bill is expected to be paid by a variety of funding sources, including reallocation of $ 205 billion in unused COVID-19 aid dollars, $ 53 billion investment in long-term infrastructure projects, and $ 13 billion from reintroducing superfund taxes on chemicals , among other things for payments.

The Superfonds excise tax on chemicals is said to affect 42 chemicals. The ACC has previously spoken out against the reinstatement of super fund taxes.

“[Superfund taxes] will increase the cost of a large number of consumer goods, including many of the materials needed for infrastructure development and climate improvement, ”said Jahn.

In an email response, the NACD said it was “very concerned” that the legislation would reintroduce excise duties from super funds.

The taxes for chemical producers will be fixed at double rates after the superfund taxes expire in 1995.

The wording of the law stipulates that taxes on these chemicals will come into force on July 1, 2022 and apply until December 31, 2031.

Many end products made in the chemical industry are used in the construction of infrastructure projects.

American Chemistry Council chief economist Kevin Swift says that around 4% of the value of non-residential construction spending goes into the chemicals sector, including plastic and rubber products.

In 2019, just over $ 5 billion worth of specialty chemicals such as additives, adhesives, and sealants were sold in the U.S.

PVC pipe is also a “very competitive” product when it comes to building and renovating existing water pipes and sewage systems.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill has yet to be passed in the US House of Representatives, where progressive members have criticized the package as inadequate.

(adds paragraphs 6, 13 NACD comments)