Treaty is a winner for American innovation, jobs, trade and manufacturing
© Greg Nash

If ratified by the Trump administration, an international treaty could create an incremental 33,000 American manufacturing jobs, increase payroll by $3 billion, increase exports $5 billion, reduce imports $7 billion, all while improving the environment. This is only possible if the president sends the Kigali amendment to the United States Senate and they vote to ratify this amendment to the Montreal Protocol. A recent study released by Inforum estimates significant benefits to the U.S. economy when made law. Conversely, failure of the federal government to act will result in an estimated loss of jobs and trade if the United States chooses to sit on the sidelines while other countries lead the transition globally. 

The Montreal Protocol originally phased-out chemical substances that were creating a hole in the ozone layer above the Arctic Circle. The Montreal Protocol is arguably the most successful international agreement ever completed. Having been ratified by every country on the planet, the deal has achieved its objectives ahead of schedule with the ozone now on a path to recovery. The Reagan administration negotiated the pact, and it was ratified unanimously by Congress and received overwhelming bipartisan support from every administration and Congress since. 

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From 2008 to 2016, the U.S. government worked closely with industry and other groups to negotiate an agreement, known as the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Kigali amendment is the 5th such amendment to Montreal Protocol. It creates a predictable process and timeline for a 30-year transition to next-generation refrigerants and products, which cools your automobile, your workplace and your home; it preserves your food, insulates buildings and provides many other benefits to society at a time when energy efficiency is improving as well. 

All four prior amendments to the Montreal Protocol were ratified with broad bipartisan support, and this amendment should be no different. The Protocol’s success is based on affordable, cost-effective and practical technology transitions. Since 1987, American industry embraced the Montreal Protocol process as part of its continued effort to offer products that perform better and improve the quality of life for the workers that make these products and the customers that use them.

Ratification is common sense for businesses, consumers and the environment. The amendment provides a clear timeline, coordinated with federally mandated energy conservation standards. Adhering to the schedule allows manufacturers to align refrigerant changes with these standards while avoiding duplicative design cycles. Additionally, an orderly and predictable federal transition prevents a patchwork of state-level regulations that are complex, duplicative and costly for manufacturers and consumers alike. The most cost-effective transition follows a published timeline, allowing for a safe and efficient conversion to new environmentally-friendly substances. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE should send the Kigali amendment to the Congress for quick ratification and implementation. The Kigali amendment is pro-jobs, pro-growth, pro-trade and reduces regulatory burdens. The Montreal Protocol process has been led by the U.S. from a policy and technology perspective for the last three decades, and we need to ensure we lead for the next three decades. The United States needs to ratify Kigali to ensure that America remains a technology leader, because the global market for air conditioning and refrigeration products is expected to more than double in the next ten years. 

Since the administration of President George W. Bush, American industry led the push for the Kigali Amendment, because it is the best way to achieve our economic and environmental objectives. Our industries already invested in research and development to introduce these next-generation technologies and there are significant future investments to be made if our government acts now. If the administration wants that investment to be in American innovation, jobs, manufacturing and trade, then it needs to embrace the Kigali amendment and send a strong policy signal to American industry. Otherwise, these investments will go offshore. 

American industry asks President Trump and Congress to ratify the Kigali amendment. It is a winner for American innovation, jobs, trade, manufacturing and consumers.

Doug Young is the President and COO of Lennox International, a global provider of climate control products for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration markets and a former Chairman of the Air Conditioning Heating Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).