Programs that help build a biobased economy can generate jobs and economic growth in the United States. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today thanked Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and co-sponsors Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Casey (D-Penn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for introducing legislation that would allow more bio-manufacturing companies to participate in Farm Bill programs.
BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood said, “Senator Stabenow’s proposed legislation would help bio-based manufacturers access vital capital, strengthen market opportunities for biobased products, and spur commercialization of agricultural and industrial biotech innovations. Technology neutral support for all biobased products, renewable chemicals, and biofuels will help build a robust biobased economy.
“Building a biobased economy in the United States will generate good jobs in manufacturing, agricultural production and forestry, transportation and distribution, and construction. Biomanufacturing opportunities can help revitalize traditional manufacturing regions and rural areas, creating a healthy, sustainable biobased economy. The biobased product and renewable chemical industry in 2008 employed 50,000 people in the United States, and more recent data indicates a near doubling of jobs. Continued growth of the industry and rebuilding the U.S. chemical production market can generate tens of thousands more jobs in the near future.”
BIO’s report, “Biobased Chemicals and Products: A New Driver for Green Jobs,” documents the potential for job creation through biomanufacturing and is available on the BIO.org website. According to the report, while the traditional U.S. chemicals and plastics industry has been a driver of export earnings for the United States, between 1997 and 2003 the U.S balance of trade in chemicals dropped from a $20 billion surplus to a $10 billion deficit. The United States regained some ground, but maintains an overall deficit. It has been estimated that the global sustainable chemical industry will grow to $1 trillion dollars in the next 10 years, which creates a significant opportunity for job growth and export growth. If U.S. companies can capture 19 percent of this new $1 trillion market, the report projects that the U.S. will create about 237,000 direct U.S. jobs in the sustainable chemicals sector, while shifting the balance of trade in the chemical sector to a surplus.