The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) recently sent a letter to the White House and state governors reinforcing that specialty chemical manufacturers play a critical role in providing essential products to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Specialty chemicals are fundamental to the continued operation of every manufacturing sector and have a key role to play in protecting the public health of Americans,” said Jennifer Abril, president and CEO of SOCMA, in the letter to federal and state officials. “It is essential that chemical facilities are allowed to continue to operate and provide life-saving drugs and medical supplies, materials important to our food supply and infrastructure, among a host of other vital products during this COVID-19 crisis. As jurisdictions increasingly consider implementing orders for the closure of nonessential businesses, SOCMA urges all levels of government to designate chemical manufacturing as critical infrastructure and exempt from further operating restrictions.”

SOCMA reports that it welcomes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) classification of chemical manufacturing as a Critical Infrastructure Sector. DHS intends for the designation to “support state, local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and that need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.”

Multiple states are calling for all non-essential workers to stay at home. In response, each of these states have deemed chemical manufacturing as necessary business activity in recognition of this federal guidance, and SOCMA urges other officials to follow suit as more states consider local action.

“SOCMA looks forward to collaborating with the White House and state governments as we work together to navigate these difficult times,” Abril said.

Visit SOCMA’s COVID-19 webpage at to find additional information and details regarding available resources.