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ISRI: End trade barriers on enviro goods

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WASHINGTON (May 16, 2014) — The International Trade Commission (ITC) should include all scrap commodities and equipment in its classification of environmental goods, according to Joe Pickard, chief economist for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

Eliminating barriers to the international trade of environmental goods would benefit the recycling industry, the environment and the U.S. economy, Mr. Pickard said in testimony before the ITC May 14.

The U.S. already has leveled the playing field for the importation of most recycled commodities, as well as for most recycling equipment, Mr. Pickard said. However, U.S. exporters of recycled goods and equipment face significant trade barriers, including import tariffs.

In 2013, the U.S. exported 42.8 million metric tons of commodity-grade scrap worth $24 billion to 160 destinations worldwide, according to ISRI. Also, the U.S. exported $435 million worth of recycling equipment in 2011, accounting for 15 percent of total scrap recycling equipment revenues, it said.

However, U.S. exporters faced a range of import tariffs in 2013, including nearly $700 million in ferrous metals and $300 million in recovered paper alone, ISRI said.

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