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World Trade Week: US recyclers laud benefits of scrap exports

United States – The US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has used the platform provided by World Trade Week 2016 to emphasise the economic, environmental and social benefits of America’€™s scrap exports.

‘Global trade is vital to the US-based recycling industry,’ stated ISRI president Robin Wiener. ‘In any given year, 30-40% of scrap is processed within the United States for export. In 2015 alone, US commodity-grade scrap products were exported to more than 150 countries worldwide. Exporting scrap has resulted in hundreds of thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars in revenue, as well as a sharing of technology and best practices in recycling. We are proud of the industry’s role as the first link in the manufacturing supply chain.’

Figures reported by the Census Bureau and International Trade Commission indicate that the USA exported more than 37 million tonnes of scrap commodities last year valued at US$ 17.6 billion. Since 2004, net exports of US scrap have contributed nearly US$ 200 billion to the balance of trade. Scrap commodities are responsible for creating more than 125 000 US jobs through exports.

In 2015, furthermore, it was reported that 39 022 jobs were supported by scrap recyclers’ exporting activities. In addition, the industry contributes US$ 1.31 billion in tax revenues for the federal government as well as US$ 1.65 billion in state and local revenues.

ISRI emphasises the importance to the scrap industry of: solid global economic growth; barrier-lowering trade agreements that open markets; competitive tax policies that allow the USA to compete on a level playing field; an improved transportation system to get products efficiently to markets; and a clear understanding and recognition of recyclable materials as commodities and not waste.

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