In the last week, SOCMA has pivoted our team's focus to address and tackle the rapidly changing news about the impact of COVID-19 on the chemical industry.

We have heard:
  • Customers are increasing requests for the manufacture of vital products.
  • Operations are moving towards essential staff shifts, and emergency response plans are in place or being finalized in case an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Plans are being updated to include the requisite number of days needed to shutdown and disinfect contaminated facilities.

As state and local governments continue to make decisio ns about bu siness closures, we urge you to not only monitor but be prepared to present your reasoning for an exemption as an essential business.

If you need help to prepare an exemption case, please contact Jared Rothstein , Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs, on our team.

We understand safety and emergency preparedness is at the core of your company, and we are here as an extension of your team.  

Here's what you can expect from SOCMA over the next three weeks:
  • Daily updates on our COVID-19 Resource Page about event cancellations, resource guides and legislative updates.
  • Tuesday Townhalls at 1:00pm Eastern, where SOCMA will answer any hot topic questions you may have, as well as collectively address inquiries we receive on a daily basis. 
  • Thursday Bulletins with industry updates.
  • Friday Webinars on business continuity topics like insurance and supply chain issues.
  • Engaged and available staff to bounce ideas with or discuss disruption concerns.

Though the challenges we currently face are unprecedented, what remains constant is our industry's agility and resilience. If you have not had a chance, please take a moment to complete the online questionnaire , so we can actively work alongside your company.

Kind Regards,

Jennifer Abril
President & CEO
What are we hearing?
100% of members plan to continue operations unless there is a government mandate to close, or if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
100% of all organizations have some sort of travel ban in place, with the majority banning non-essential travel. Approval for travel must come from a member of the executive team.
When asked if members were considering changing plant shift schedules, more than 50% have already made scheduling changes , while others are preparing to. Others cited lean or agile operations and could make the necessary shift to essential staff.
Currently, 100% of respondents are not actively looking for new raw material suppliers and are reporting 2-3 months of inventory on-hand. Additionally, many organizations are taking inventory and preparing their operations to identify sourcing solutions should the need arise.
Supply Chain Update
The recovery of Chinese production, rail and trucking capacity should alleviate constraints stemming from Chinese preventative measures, but increases in volume hitting North American and European ports may be short-lived as recessionary conditions reduce demand and other issues such as port closures and travel bans arise.

For instance, two container terminals in the Port of Houston closed on March 19 until further notice following a reported case of COVID-19 in an employee. Most other shipping terminals and maritime operations are functioning as normal but are taking preventative measures such as communicating with the public via email/telephone and expect future volume declines.

Port users are encouraged to check the websites of the terminals. Trans-Atlantic air freight costs are also on the rise with implementation of a 30-day U.S. travel ban on 28 countries in Europe, which will significantly constrain belly cargo space and increase costs of chemicals shipped per air freight.

Many countries have closed business and borders in wake of the spreading COVID-19, which will further delay recoveries in container volume, but in the case of future closure of the U.S.-Canada border to all non-essential travel, trade " will not be affected ."
SOCMA Webinar and Resources
Navigating the Employer Legal Landscape During a Pandemic
Friday, March 20 - 2:00pm Eastern
This webinar will cover key legal themes for employers to keep in mind for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and the implications of quarantine on their operations. Thompson Hine Partners and subject-matter experts, Megan Glowacki and Stephen Penrod will discuss key topics and questions relating to workforce change as a result of COVID-19. REGISTER NOW
COVID-19 Tools & Templates
In case you missed it, here are the most recent tools and templates added to the SOCMA Resource Page.
  • Three Considerations for Plant Operations’ Procedures Download
  • Essential Worker Travel Letter Download
  • SOCMA Coronavirus Repository Download
Legislative Update
President Trump has signed a coronavirus relief package into law after tweeting support on March 13. The provisions include free testing for everyone (including uninsured) and additional support for paid emergency leave. Action will now move to approving a Federal Stimulus Package .

 Please contact Robert F. Helminiak for more information.
Expanded Lead Sheet Program
With the potential for supply chain disruption as an effect of COVID-19, SOCMA will continue to offer its lead sheet program. Contact Owen Jappen to find out how SOCMA can help you source supplies, find contract manufacturers or service partners.
International Trade Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 25 - 2:00pm Eastern

The SOCMA International Trade Committee will meet via teleconference, for updates on:
  • COVID-19 impacts to supply chains and operations
  • Potential USMCA entry into force on June 1
  • U.S.-China tariffs and negotiations
  • Miscellaneous Tariff Bill
  • UK and EU free trade agreement negotiations

To join the International Trade Committee, please contact Matthew Moedritzer , Manager of Legal and Government Relations.