• Press Release

Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Create Millions in Revenue for U.S. Recycling Industry

(Washington, DC) – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), serving at the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, recently announced its support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP) in a letter to Congress. The TPP will potentially generate tens of millions of dollars in additional sales revenue for U.S. recycling businesses by eliminating tariffs on scrap commodities and recycling equipment exports.

“Opening new markets and expanding access to existing trade partners, the TPP will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, make a positive contribution to our balance of trade, and create thousands of recycling jobs across America,” wrote ISRI Chair Mark Lewon and ISRI President Robin Wiener. “The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of recycled commodities. Within the U.S. scrap commodities account for one of the largest exports by value, making up more than a quarter of the industry’s economic activity.”

The letter points out to that the U.S. eliminated such tariffs for the import of scrap commodities and recycling equipment. At the same time, U.S. exporters face significant trade barriers including import tariffs that restrict the free flow of these goods. For example, tariff duties were applied to nearly $700 million worth of U.S. ferrous scrap exports annually with ad valorem rates ranging from 0.78 to 6 percent.

In addition to the many environmental and energy saving benefits that recycling offers, the industry has a very positive economic impact on global trade for the U.S., including:

  • In 2015, the U.S. exported more than 37 million metric tons of scrap commodities to more than 150 countries worldwide, generating $17.5 billion in export sales;  
  • Since 2000, scrap commodity exports have made a positive contribution to our balance of trade in excess of $210 billion;
  • Scrap exports alone account for more than 125,000 U.S. jobs and generate more than $28 billion in economic activity; and
  • $1.31 billion in federal tax revenue and $1.65 billion in state and local revenues is generated by scrap exports.


The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the Voice of the Recycling Industry. ISRI represents approximately 1,300 companies in 21 chapters in the U.S. and 34 countries worldwide that process, broker and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, ISRI provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment, and sustainable development. Generating more than $105 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides nearly half a million Americans with good jobs

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