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Study: E-scrap export ban would hurt economy, not help it

By: Kerri Jansen
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

May 31, 2013

Banning the export of electronic scrap would hurt the domestic economy and displace domestic jobs, according to a new report released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc.

In contrast to an earlier report released by the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling that claimed an e-waste export ban would create new jobs domestically, "[t]he Dunham report reaffirms that a total ban on the export of used electronics only harms the economy by reducing competition among responsible recyclers in the e-recycling industry," Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, said in a statement.

Research found nearly 162,000 U.S. jobs were dependent on the export of scrap materials including used electronics, according to the report. The report also challenges claims that a large portion of electronic scrap exports are sent for disposal, citing a recent report from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

"Rather than create opportunity for small domestic businesses, [a ban] will consolidate business to those firms that already have the necessary machinery and manpower. It will crowd out small existing businesses and inhibit the entry of newer businesses," the report reads.