Mar 6 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Todd Young (R-IN) urged United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai to engage with the European Union (EU) to prevent the adoption of the European Commission’s (EC) proposed restrictions on the trade of steel scrap. The proposed measures would negatively impact the global competitiveness of American steel producers through unwarranted restrictions on steel scrap exports. 

“As you may know, the EC introduced a proposal to amend its Waste Shipment Regulations, which would restrict EU exports of steel scrap to both member and non-member countries of the OECD. While the proposal ostensibly seeks to further environmental goals, it fails to meaningfully distinguish between problematic (e.g., plastics) and non-problematic (e.g., steel scrap) waste. The EC proposal would also establish burdensome monitoring and reporting requirements for scrap exports,” the Senators wrote in part. “Such measures would distort global scrap markets and steel supply chains, increasing costs and reducing the supply of scrap for American steel producers.”

“Based on our understanding, there is no environmental rationale for the EC’s proposed restrictions on steel scrap. In fact, by distorting global scrap flows, the proposal would likely lead to higher global greenhouse gas emissions,” the Senators continued. “We urge USTR to engage with the EU to ensure that these onerous restrictions are not adopted. Since steel scrap is not a problematic waste, it should be excluded entirely from these measures. Alternatively, the restrictions should be lessened, a sufficient transition period adopted, and a self-certification mechanism established based on an international standard.”

The full letter is available here.