WASHINGTON—The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership will potentially add tens of millions of dollars in sales revenue for U.S. recycling businesses by eliminating tariffs on scrap commodities and recycling equipment exports, according to the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries.
“Opening new markets and expanding access to existing trade partners, the TPP will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, make a positive contribution to our balance of trade, and create thousands of recycling jobs across America,” ISRI Chair Mark Lewon and ISRI President Robin Wiener wrote in a letter to Congress.
“The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of recycled commodities,” Lewon and Wiener wrote. “Within the U.S., scrap commodities account for one of the largest exports by value, making up more than a quarter of the industry's economic activity.”
The U.S. has already eliminated tariffs on imported scrap commodities and recycling equipment, but U.S. exporters face significant trade barriers including import tariffs, Lewon and Wiener said.
In 2015, the U.S. exported more than 37 million metric tons of scrap commodities to more than 150 countries, generating $17.5 billion in export sales, according to ISRI.
Scrap commodity exports have added more than $210 billion to the U.S. balance of trade since 2000, the institute said. They account for 125,000 U.S. jobs, generate more than $28 billion in economic activity annually, and generate $1.31 billion in federal tax revenue and $1.65 billion in state and local revenues annually, it said.
The Obama administration released the full text of the TPP, a 12-nation trade agreement, in November 2015. Most business organizations support the TPP, but virtually all unions and some business organizations—including the United Steelworkers union, the Alliance for American Manufacturing and the U.S. Business and Industry Council—remain completely opposed.