US e-waste export ban violates WTO rules: Congressional Research Service

2012 03 12

A US law banning the export of recycled material, typically scrap and electronic waste, is in violation of treaties governing American external trade, according to the Congress Research Service (CRS) which provides Congress with legal and technical advice.

The CRS report said the US cannot unilaterally impose restrictions on electronic exports without risking repercussions in the WTO system, in particular, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

"This is an inconvenient truth for those who think an export ban curbs irresponsible recycling. It confirms what ISRI [Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries], Republican and Democratic trade experts and well as the USTR [US Trade Representative] have been saying," said ISRI president Robin Wiener.

The CRS said e-waste export restrictions, contained in the Responsible Recycling Act (RERA), are hard to reconcile with the WTO's general exceptions to protect human, animal or plant life.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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