The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) touts the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) as a victory for the recycling industry as it officially enters into force. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has governed trade between the three economies since 1994. “The USMCA is a win for the North American recycling industry,” says ISRI Vice President of Advocacy Adina Renee Adler. “The market and policy certainty that comes with the agreement will support the 130,000 U.S. jobs that depend on strong regional trade for scrap commodities and the industries that depend on these critical materials. We look forward to reaping the benefits of this agreement, especially in support of a strong post-pandemic economic recovery.”

ISRI advocated for the recycling industry throughout the negotiations, which commenced in 2017, because the Agreement will support the already robust North American scrap trade. More than 130,000 U.S. recycling jobs are dependent on regional trade and more than $7.7 billion of U.S. scrap imports and exporters are bolstered by key components of the agreement, including:

  • Maintained tariff-free access in Mexico (U.S. and Canada are already tariff-free);
  • Improved and accelerated customs clearances;
  • Indirect recognition of the ISRI Specifications as industry standards; and
  • Increased demand for scrap through enhanced auto rules of origin requirements.

ISRI worked assiduously with the Administration, members of Congress, and industry partners to advocate for this agreement. In partnership with the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI) and Mexico’s National Institute of Recyclers (INARE), ISRI developed a platform of issues that the three organizations advocated for with their respective governments during the early stages of the negotiation. The final agreement reflects the joint efforts.

The recycling industry will work closely with the auto industry supply chain as it develops a compliance roadmap for the expanded rules of origin requirements. Scrap processed in the United States is American-made and is an essential raw material input into the North American steel and aluminum primary and fabricated industries.

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