Chemical industry executives say they’re confident they’ll get some money from the Federal Reserve for its efforts to help them navigate the regulatory landscape.
The companies are asking Congress for $10.3 billion in grants, which they expect to receive from the Fed as soon as next week.
The request comes on top of an earlier $9 billion the agency announced Wednesday to support the chemical industry, including the development of new technology to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
More than 30 chemical companies are expected to apply for grants from the federal government as part of the $30-billion effort.
Chemical industry executives are concerned that a stronger regulatory framework for the chemical industries could leave the industry vulnerable to new coronaviruses that could wipe out existing businesses and kill tens of thousands of Americans.
“It’s going to be a challenge to stay competitive, and we’re very hopeful that we’re going to get some relief,” said David Mancuso, president of the American Chemistry Council, which represents some of the country’s biggest chemical companies.
“The only way to do that is through a better regulatory framework, and this will provide a great opportunity to do so.”
The industry has been trying to figure out how to handle the coronivirus outbreak, which has spread from China to other countries.
The chemicals industry’s annual revenue is about $10 trillion, and its profits have plummeted as demand for new products has been severely cut.
A $10-billion fund to help the chemical sector was part of a broader effort to prevent a repeat of the pandemic.
Companies say the funding will go toward creating and testing new treatments for coronaviral disease and providing them to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.
The companies also want to make sure their companies can continue to be successful in the new era of clean technologies and a regulatory environment that encourages them to develop and share innovations.
President Trump has said he supports the industry’s request, but it could be years before the government is able to give the industry any money.
Congress has yet to vote on whether to grant the funds, but there is no indication that the funds would be subject to Senate approval.
At the same time, the money is expected to be the first of many that will be awarded this year to help manufacturers respond to the coronovirus pandemic, including $1.9 billion in funding to help meet the needs of the chemical manufacturing industry and $300 million for the research and development of novel chemotherapeutics for cancer.
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