WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2012 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) expressed its appreciation and support for President Barack Obama’s FY 13 budget and its focus on fueling the scientific engines that drive innovation, reinvigorate manufacturing and create and sustain new U.S. jobs.
“ACS applauds President Obama’s budget and its focus on fostering innovation and a favorable business climate that will create jobs here at home,” said ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Ph.D. “We are gratified to see that while necessary cuts have been made in the budget, the President has maintained support for the drivers that can strengthen our economic engine. This budget supports science, innovation and manufacturing –– the economic tools that in the last 50 years have generated 50 to 85 percent of the growth of our nation’s gross domestic product.”
ACS is particularly glad to see sustained and predictable investments in non-defense R&D at five percent above 2012 levels, most notably in maintaining commitments to scientific and medical research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The 2013 budget maintains earlier commitments to grow these agencies by providing $13.1 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent above 2012 levels. The budget also provides level funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $30.7 billion, while proposing new management policies that will require the agency to award 7 percent more new research grants. The 2013 budget also provides $2.2 billion for advanced manufacturing R&D, which represents a 19 percent increase over 2012.
“ACS is pleased to see the strong support for reinvigorating U.S. manufacturing. Making and selling products employs a whole host of professionals at every stage, including scientists who help discover new products and improvements and engineers who transform those ideas into reality,” said Shakhashiri. “Chemistry alone touches 96 percent of manufacturing. Service industries do not create a similar delta of employment.”
ACS is also pleased that the president’s 2013 budget offers two important federal policies critical to economic growth and job creation: a Manufacturing Communities Tax Credit to stimulate investment in communities hard-hit by job losses and a long-needed commitment to expand and make permanent the R&D tax credit.
“The R&D tax credit supports our leaders in industry willing to take the risks to develop new, high-value discoveries,” said Shakhashiri. “Companies cannot plan and amortize the costs of invention without the R&D tax credit as a permanent feature of the tax map. Our competitors, globally, know this, which is why many leading industrial nations have similar policies. Making the R&D tax credit permanent makes U.S. industry leaders who are innovating for America’s future more economically competitive.”
The ACS adopted a policy statement titled, “A Competitive U.S. Business Climate: the Role of Chemistry,” that outlines policy recommendations in the areas of tax and trade; intellectual property; technology transfer/commercialization, and small business and entrepreneurship that if adopted would help create a more favorable environment for new, science-based jobs here in the United States.
ACS policies on U.S. Business Climate and Innovation outline key federal and state policies to ensure a sustainable and secure economic future for the nation.