International Trade

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Adina Renee Adler
Senior Director, Gov't Relations & Int'l Affairs
(202) 662-8514

The U.S. scrap recycling industry provides the high value, environmentally friendly and energy-saving raw materials that make America’s manufacturing industries more competitive in the global marketplace. The scrap industry also supplies the world’s rapidly growing demand for all manner of commodities ranging from iron and steel, to paper, nonferrous metals, plastics, electronics, rubber and more. In 2010, commodity grade scrap products were exported to more than 155 countries worldwide, generating nearly $30 billion in export sales and significantly helping the U.S. balance of trade.

International Scrap Trade Database

The scrap market has become increasingly global in nature in recent decades. Figures from the United Nations Comtrade Database show that in 2015 alone, exports of all scrap commodities from reporting countries approached 180 million metric tons valued at more than $86 billion. While the United States is the largest exporter of recycled commodities in the world and China is the world’s dominant consumer of commodities (including scrap), the scrap marketplace is far from bilateral, stretching to virtually every corner of the globe.


Global Trade 2014