Representative Paul Cook (CA-R), along with Representatives Cynthia Lummis (WY-R), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-D), Kurt Schrader (OR-D), Mo Brooks (R-AL), David Valadao (CA-R), Mimi Walters (CA-R), and Jim Himes (CT-D), have introduced H.R. 1992, the American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act. The bipartisan legislation would temporarily reduce the federal royalty rate from 6% to 2% for a period of five years.
Soda ash is the primary ingredient in making glass and is also used in detergents and other products. The soda ash is produced naturally in two locations in the United States: Trona, CA and Green River, WY.
While the U.S. industry supplies 100% of the domestic needs for soda ash, the largest growth area for the industry remains in exports. Soda ash is the largest inorganic export in the United States. It is shipped out of Long Beach and San Diego, CA, Portland, OR, Longview, WA, Galveston and Port Arthur, TX, providing hundreds of good jobs at those Ports.
The primary competition for the US soda ash industry globally comes from a heavily subsidized Chinese industry. In China, the government provides a 9% VAT rebate on exports to its soda ash companies, which amounts to roughly $35 million annually. Besides being heavily subsidized, Chinese soda ash is also produced synthetically, which emits 2-3 times as much CO2 and uses 2-3 times as much energy per ton of soda ash produced.
The royalty reduction would not only even the playing field for the US industry globally and protect American jobs, but it would also promote a cleaner, greener natural soda ash that would benefit the global environment.
The Industrial Minerals Association – North America would like to thank Representatives Cook, Lummis, Bonamici, Himes, Schrader, Brooks, Valadao and Walters for introducing this vital legislation for the United States soda ash industry. We look forward to working with your offices to get this legislation enacted into law this session of Congress.
A copy of the legislation is attached.
To view the press release from Congressman Paul Cook, click here.