• Leadership Update

China Responds to WTO Comments

Many months after ISRI, the U.S. Government, and other partner organizations submitted comments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) that highlighted concerns about China’s import restrictions and quality standards, the Chinese government has officially responded.

In comments submitted to the WTO last week, the Chinese government defends the policies for the protection of the environment and considers them to be in line with China’s obligations as a WTO member. Of particular note:

  • The transition time was “adjust[ed] accordingly” but could not be a longer because “the risks of pollution resulting from the accumulation of large quantities of solid waste imports ... must also be avoided.”
  • China believes the “measures will lead to increasing quantities of solid wastes generated in the United States … spurring a new round of investment …” and “could also bring more employment opportunities to the US recycling industry.”
  • Although ISRI Specifications are used round the world, China notes “there is not any globally recognized standard for scrap materials and recyclable materials,” such as in a legally binding treaty.
  • China argues that “imported wastes can meet China’s standards if they are properly categorized or pretreated at their sources.”

You can read ISRI’s comments for the import ban and the quality standards.

Please contact Adina Renee Adler with any question.

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