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ADVOCACY AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


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Proactive Advocacy Agenda in 2017 for Activities within the States, in Washington, and Internationally 
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ISRI prepared a comprehensive 2017 Advocacy Agenda that focused our efforts on six broad issue areas affecting the industry: taxes and the economy; international trade; energy and the environment; transportation and infrastructure development; workplace safety initiatives; and regulatory policy. 


Major Victory for Recyclers in Washington: Resumption of Mutilated Coin Redemption Program
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With the U.S. Mint resuming the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program on January 19, 2018 after a nearly three-year suspension, ISRI achieved a victory for a top priority issue in 2017, worth millions of dollars to recyclers. ISRI worked closely with the U.S. Mint, the Department of the Treasury, and members of Congress over the last several years to get the program resumed.

The U.S. Mint’s new rules released during the fall of 2017, will once again allow the redemption of mutilated coins, such as those from shredding operations or the recycling of vending machines. The Mint, which suspended its program three years ago due to concerns about fraud, plans to update and improve the redemption process to enhance security, ensure the integrity of the nation’s coinage, and update the redemption rates.


Another Major Victory for Recyclers in Washington: Tax Reform
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ISRI worked hard to secure provisions in the comprehensive tax reform package that was passed in late 2017. Benefits for the recycling industry include:

  • Offering a 100 percent expensing provision for businesses to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment;
  • Lowering the corporate tax rate to 21 percent beginning on January 1, 2018;
  • Providing a 20 percent tax deduction that applies to the first $315,000 of joint income earned by all business organizations as S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietorships;
  • Preserving the research & development tax credit;
  • Eliminating the corporate alternative minimum tax; and
  • Modernizing the international tax system enabling global companies to repatriate their profits back to the U.S.

New Industry Advocate Training Tools 
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Specialized industry advocacy training continued to assist members in becoming become effective industry advocates. ISRI, in partnership with the Congressional Management Foundation, developed a set of tools as part of this training.  


Advocacy in the States
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Throughout 2017, ISRI - through its combined network of national and chapter resources - tracked and reported on more than 500 state bills and regulations across the nation that impacted the recycling industry, lobbied in State legislatures across the country on behalf of members, and advocated on the industry’s behalf before state policymakers, attorneys general, and lieutenant governors. Major recycling-related issues included: state sales taxes; paper/plastic bag bans or restrictions; recycled rubber/synthetic turf; materials theft; and extended producer responsibility.

ISRI Advocates for Industry Interests with State Legislators

ISRI participated in the 2017 National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Annual Legislative Summit held in Boston. ISRI and its Chapters sponsored the exhibit hall luncheon for the fifth year in a row, with ISRI’s New England Chapter serving as hosts. Members from 16 ISRI chapters came out and participated, with all ISRI commodities represented through displays and volunteers on-site. ISRI participation also yielded several requests for scrap recycling facility tours for legislators across the country. More than 2000 state legislators attended the event, many of whom visited the ISRI booth and during the lunch visited the ISRI exhibit of scrap recycling industry commodities and equipment.

ISRI was also invited to attend the NCSL Symposium for Legislative Leaders in October, an program designed to give state legislative leaders high-caliber training, timely public policy briefings, and innovative ideas to effectively guide state legislative chambers. ISRI engaged with the leaders directly in a close-knit environment that allowed for quality interaction and the opportunity to build positive impressions and friendships for the industry. ISRI has a seat on the Board of Directors of the NCSL Foundation of State Legislatures which hosted the Symposium.

ISRI-Supported Resolution on Recycled Rubber Adopted by CSG

The Council of State Governments (CSG) adopted a resolution offered by ISRI supporting science-based evidence on the use of recycled tire crumb rubber in artificial turf and playgrounds. The resolution recognized the benefits of recycling tires and the importance of relying on sound science over emotion in this policy discussion. It called on the federal government to place a priority on completing its study. ISRI is a private-sector CSG Associates advisory member.

ISRI Addresses State Lieutenant Governors and Attorneys General on Key Recycling Issues

In March, ISRI addressed state lieutenant governors as part of a National Lieutenant Governors Association discussion panel on the economic and environmental benefits the recycling industry brings to the states. Then, in June, ISRI participated in the National Association of Attorneys General summer meeting, elevating the issue of electronic reporting mandates through private third-party database companies, and the impact such mandates have on recyclers.


Advocacy Across the Globe
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ISRI Actively Works to Mitigate Chinese Scrap Ban

From the moment rumors began circulating in May that China was considering banning certain scrap imports and severely restricting others, ISRI worked aggressively to activate the U.S. Government and other entities around the world about the serious challenges the proposed measures would create for the recycling industry. ISRI staff worked closely with the White House, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and members of Congress to elevate the issue to one of the highest priorities in the U.S.-China trade relationship. ISRI was frequently sourced in trade press and international media outlets, including The Economist, CNN, BBC, and the Wall Street Journal. And in outreach to the Chinese government, ISRI pledged to support their environmental efforts with offers to share information on best practices while also seeking clarity on certain aspects of the ban through engagements with the Chinese Embassy in Washington and comments submitted to the Chinese government directly and through the WTO.

ISRI met a number of times with Chinese government officials in both Beijing and Washington, as well as with representatives of Chinese recycling organizations to: highlight key problems with the ban and offer alternatives; gain further understanding of the government’s plans, expectations, and rationale; and seek to mitigate the ban’s effect on international scrap traders. At year’s end, ISRI submitted additional comments to the WTO with specific information about the industry, including details on the various grades of scrap traded globally, suggestions on quality standards, and specific questions to get as much clarity and guidance as possible to help members with their compliance. 

ISRI Develops Guidance for New NAFTA

As the United States, Canada, and Mexico began negotiations on a new North American Free Trade Agreement in mid-August, ISRI led the development of a joint North American recycling industry strategy and policy statement with the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI) and Mexico’s National Institute for Recyclers (INARE) with the goal of protecting the essential, market-based flow of scrap commodities among our countries. The priorities for our industry are to prevent any disruption in the significant movement of scrap between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; promote ISRI specifications as the standard for recyclables; and improve customs procedures at border crossings.



Our Mission | ISRI is the voice of the recycling industry, promoting safe, economically sustainable and environmentally
responsible recycling through networking, advocacy, and education.

 

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