U.S. Industry Letter Supports Consistent Definition of “Critical Infrastructure”

March 28, 2020

The Compressed Gas Association is a signatory to an open letter dated March 25, 2020 sent to representatives at all levels of the U.S. government, supporting a consistent definition of “critical infrastructure” across all jurisictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

111 groups signed on to this letter, representing nearly the entire U.S. economy.

The letter, reprinted in its entirety below, has been delivered to the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), as well as governors and mayors across the country.

U.S. Industry Letter

March 25, 2020

Dear Mr. President, Governors, Mayors and other local elected officials:

We recognize and appreciate the aggressive steps that are being taken to respond to the threats of the COVID-19 virus. We represent the manufacturers, distributors and supply chain of the products and raw materials that ensure public health and safety during these times of a pandemic. Protecting our workforce, their families and our communities are our top priorities.

Unfortunately, there are well-intentioned actions being taken at the state and local levels that may fundamentally impede or otherwise threaten the supply of critical products. It is imperative that the federal, state and local governments come together with uniform definitions of “critical infrastructure” making clear what manufacturers must continue to operate, as well as take seriously the need to transport those products and have the workforce available to keep operations running. Curfews that do not consider transportation and workforce needs could quickly become significant barriers to not only supply chains, but also actual supplies. Accordingly, we are asking for the following actions to be coordinated in the most expedient fashion:

  1. States should agree to directly adopt the definition of “critical infrastructure” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a floor and commit to keep these critical manufacturing facilities open across the nation. Follow guidance from the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to identify essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response. Attempt to coordinate all states and localities to achieve as uniform a definition and consistent application as possible, recognizing the need for states or localities to provide broader definitions of critical infrastructure based on their own state or local circumstances.
  2. Commit to not creating any artificial barriers to the transportation of these products and work in a coordinated fashion to ensure the safe shipment of goods from manufacturing facilities to retailers.
  3. Ensure that any curfews do not impede a healthy workforce from getting to and from manufacturing facilities and retailers during all necessary hours of operation.

As you consider national, statewide or local measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, we respectfully request that our industries be consistently designated essential and permitted to maintain operations throughout this challenging time, using the DHS definition as a minimum guide to the fullest extent practicable.

Our member companies are proud to support the ongoing national response to COVID-19. We will continue to act responsibly and limit the spread of the virus at our facilities. We ask that those facilities, workforces and their supply chains continue to operate uninterrupted so that we may provide the strongest possible response for the American public.


Adhesive and Sealant Council

Agricultural Retailers Association

Aluminum Association

American Boiler Manufacturers Association

American Chemistry Council

American Cleaning Institute

American Coatings Association, Inc.

American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute

American Foundry Society

American Frozen Food Institute

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

American Hardwood Export Council

American Mold Builders Association

American Pet Products Association

American Petroleum Institute

American Spice Trade Association

American Supply Association

American Walnut Manufacturers Association

American Wood Council

AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology

Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association

Beer Institute

Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Can Manufacturers Institute

Compressed Gas Association, Inc.

Consumer Brands Association

Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Corn Refiners Association

Decorative Hardwood Association

Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.

Empire State Forest Products Association

EPS Industry Alliance

Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association

Flexible Packaging Association

Fragrance Creators Association

Glass Packaging Institute

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Hardwood Federation

Hardwood Manufacturers Association

Household & Commercial Products Association

INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry

Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association

Independent Petroleum Association of America

Industrial Fasteners Institute

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

International Association of Color Manufacturers

International Foodservice Distributors Association

International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration

International Wood Products Association


Kentucky Forest Industries Association

Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association

Methanol Institute

Missouri Forest Products Association

National Association for Surface Finishing

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Association of Manufacturers

National Automatic Merchandising Association

National Beer Wholesalers Association

National Confectioners Association

National Electrical Manufacturers Association

National Grocers Association

National Hardwood Lumber Association

National Lime Association

National Mining Association

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Pest Management Association

National Propane Gas Association

National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc.

National Tooling and Machining Association

National Turkey Federation

National Waste & Recycling Association

National Wooden Pallet & Container Association

National Wood Flooring Association

North American Die Casting Association

North American Meat Institute

North Carolina Forestry Association

Northeastern Loggers Association

Pennsylvania Forest Products Association

Personal Care Products Council

Pet Food Institute

Pet Industry Distributors Association

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council

Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association

Plastics Industry Association

Plumbing Manufacturers International

Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association

Portland Cement Association

Precision Machined Products Association

Precision Metalforming Association

PVC Pipe Association

Railway Tie Association

Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association

Single Ply Roofing Industry

SNAC International

Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates

Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute

Tennessee Forestry Association

Travel Goods Association

Treated Wood Council

United Fresh Produce Association

U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association

Vinyl Institute

Vinyl Siding Institute

Virginia Forestry Association

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition

Western Hardwood Association

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

Wood Component Manufacturers Association

World Pet Association