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.