Chemical-producing firms such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and Sasol are looking to invest $100 billion in petrochemical production in the U.S. as cheap natural gas in the country provides an economic advantage, according to this analysis. Almost half of the amount is from investments by foreign firms such as Sasol, Methanex and Formosa. Employment in the chemical industry is also rising after decades of decline, while the sector's trade surplus is expected to reach $46 billion by 2020, compared with $800 million last year, said American Chemistry Council chief economist Kevin Swift.

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