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ISRI raises alarm over tariff policies

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has urged the US government to negotiate with China to ease tensions in the escalating trade war between the two countries.

The imposition of a series of ‘tit-for-tat’ tariffs, on top of bans and tougher regulation of imported secondary materials, has shaken the global scrap industry.

ISRI has written to the US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and US trade representative Robert Lighthizer detailing the impact the current tariff policy is having on the industry in combination with the import restrictions already imposed by China.

Even so, ISRI says it is encouraged by the news that the two sides will meet at the end of this month.

Industry struggles

The letter, signed by ISRI president Robin Wiener, says the Chinese Government’s perception that it must respond to US-imposed tariffs has ‘further deepened the struggles our industry is already facing’.

She writes: ‘While ISRI generally supports the findings of the Administration’s Section 301 review of China’s investment policies, the lists proposed for import tariffs on Chinese goods have already become a significant financial burden to our industry.

Shredder wear parts

‘We were grateful that the Office of the US Trade Representative did not include some equipment parts on the final list of products assessed a tariff beginning on July 6, but that list includes HS 8479.90.94.96 for auto shredder wear parts, of which about 85% is sourced from China and thus represents one of the largest financial outlays for the 300+ auto shredders in 44 states.’

Damaging effect

Her letter goes on: ‘The combined strain on the US recycling industry of China’s import restrictions and the tariffs imposed by both the US and Chinese governments will have a damaging effect long-term on our industry’s competitiveness and the health of the manufacturing supply chain. We respectfully request that every effort is made to return to the negotiating table with China to find a path forward in our trading relationship.’

Wiener concludes by saying that an ‘absence of cooperation’ to resolve disagreements is harming industry and its manufacturing customers.

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