As the Trump Administration and Congress begin getting down to business, several issues are on the table that impact the scrap recycling and manufacturing industries.
First, there is tax reform. The Republican plan “A Better Way” has proposed eliminating many of the tax allowances such as accelerated depreciation to pay for a general reduction in corporate income tax rates. Additionally, there is an effort to lower the rates for repatriating profits that are currently being held offshore to avoid a punitive double tax. The scrap recycling industry currently enjoys a permanent 50 percent accelerated depreciation allowance to purchase qualified recycling equipment. This important provision is a top priority for ISRI to protect. While a lot is being heard about improving the nation’s outmoded and strained transportation system, all regulations are currently frozen awaiting the Administration’s review of Obama era initiatives including the Surface Transportation Board’s proposal to revoke the exemption for scrap steel. If this proposal does not move forward or is blocked, the chances for further improvements for other commodities will be non-existent. Issues such as increased truck weights were abandoned in the last Congress after attempts to bring the two sides together resulted in a solution that no longer made economic sense to shippers. On the ocean transportation front, improving ports has gained some momentum from shippers and carriers alike – both hoping for large expenditures to increase capacity, deploy modern equipment and technologies, and prepare terminals for larger container ships. So, while the administration and Congress seem to be getting a slow start and things seem to be in a general sense of limbo, ISRI has been here before and is making sure that policymakers understand our industry and our concerns. As part of this education process, we ask that you bring to our attention any issues or development you witness so we can enlist your help to advance the interests of the industry whenever possible. For more information, please contact Billy Johnson.