SOCMA and Specialty Manufacturing

Specialty Manufacturers Find a Home in SOCMA

Charles HertyThe major concern of specialty chemical manufacturers in 1921 was the need for barriers to foreign manufacturers importing into the United States. Members of this specialized sector of the infant chemical industry felt that American companies had the knowledge and capacity to compete against these more well-established companies in countries like Germany that were dominating the U.S. market. Thus, they created a trade association – then the Synthetic Organic Chemicals Manufacturers Association – to advocate for their needs.

Dr. Charles Herty, who had encouraged some eighty manufacturers of synthetic organic chemicals to act cooperatively to overcome the many problems confronting their industry, was chosen to lead SOCMA because founding members wanted someone who could rouse public opinion, develop enthusiasm among university personnel and work closely with manufacturers.

SOCMA is the only U.S.-based trade association representing the specialty manufacturing sector. The annual value of products made by the specialty manufacturers that make up SOCMA’s membership is estimated at $24 billion annually, and members employ more than 46,000 U.S. workers. The industry’s impact on the U.S. Gross Domestic Product is upwards of $2.9 trillion.

For more than 90 years, SOCMA has helped this unique industry navigate through legislative and regulatory issues that have a significant impact on their businesses by tailoring its offerings to meet the needs of specialty chemical manufacturers. For example: 

  • SOCMA created and still sponsors the specialty chemical trade show InformexUSA.
  • Many of SOCMA’s affiliate members, such as the Bulk Pharmaceuticals Task Force, are niche specialty manufacturers.
  • SOCMA’s advocacy efforts educate Congress and regulatory agencies about specialty and batch manufacturing.
  • ChemStewards®, SOCMA’s environmental, health, safety and security program, was designed with the complexity of batch manufacturers in mind.
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