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Industrial Biotechnology: Development and Adoption by the U.S. Chemical and Biofuel Industries

Investigation No. 332-481
USITC Publication 4020


From pharmaceuticals to plastics, from ethanol to biodiesel, the U.S. chemical and biofuel industries are expanding their use of industrial biotechnology, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its report Industrial Biotechnology: Development and Adoption by the U.S. Chemical and Biofuel Industries.

The ITC report found that the liquid biofuel industry, composed of ethanol and biodiesel producers, saw remarkable growth in its business activities from 2004 to 2007, with the number of producers, production establishments, and the value of corn ethanol shipments more than doubling and the value of biodiesel shipments increasing by well over 2,000 percent during that time.

The bio-based chemical industry, composed of pharmaceutical and other chemical producers, expanded as well during the period studied, though not as dramatically. Innovation is important to the future competitiveness and productivity of both industries.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, completed the report at the request of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. The report provides an in-depth description of:

  • trends in bio-based activities within the chemical and liquid biofuel industries,
  • factors affecting their development and adoption of industrial biotechnology (IB), and
  • government policies related to these industries that have been implemented by the United States and key competitor countries.

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