With China’s National Sword initiative, U.S. trade relations, and related international news making headlines, there could not have been a better time for an ISRI delegation to travel to China to represent our members’ interests.
ISRI Chairman-Elect Brian Shine; Past Chairman Doug Kramer; Senior Director, Government Relations and International Affairs Adina Renee Adler; Chief Economist Joe Pickard, and myself just returned from there this past week. Our agenda included attending the Bureau of International Recycling’s (BIR) World Recycling Convention in Hong Kong, the China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA) conference, and meetings in Beijing with U.S. and Chinese government officials.
The top item to address during each of these meetings were the many issues affecting the trade of scrap between the U.S. and China. The initial primary concern heading over to China was to gather additional intelligence on the National Sword initiative to crack down on illegal scrap/waste imports. While there, rumors of a potential ban on the imports of all scrap commodities, including ferrous, nonferrous, plastics, paper, and tire and rubber surfaced. Despite the fact that at this point, these are just rumors, ISRI strongly advocated on behalf of its members to Chinese officials, stressing the importance of good trade relations and the damage such a ban would have on both China and international markets. ISRI is also aggressively reaching out to the U.S. government and international counterparts to work with China to maintain open trade. As more details become available, ISRI will make sure to share them with members.
Other highlights from the trip included:
· During the BIR Tyres and Rubber Committee meeting, I provided an update on the situation in the U.S. regarding synthetic turf and crumb rubber. The issue is also popping up in Europe, illustrating the importance of the international recycling community working together on this issue.
· ISRI met with U.S. Commercial Service officers at the U.S. Embassy to obtain support in addressing the rumored ban on imports.
· While in Beijing, we also met with officials at the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) who informed us that Regulation No. 119 of 2009, which outlines AQSIQ’s regulations for scrap imports, is in the process of being revised and will open for public comment later this year. ISRI will track this and plans to submit comments supporting its members.
· The meeting with AQSIQ also helped to better establish a direct line of communication with AQSIQ to facilitate ISRI’s efforts to track regulatory changes and to troubleshoot member efforts to obtain or renew AQSIQ licenses.
In the coming weeks, ISRI will continue to provide members with resources and intelligence gathered from this trip. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Adina Renee Adler.