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Patricia O'Connell
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U.S. Scrap Exports Approach 7 Million Tons, Up 22 Percent in 2008

American Scrap Coalition Calls for Action on Foreign Trade Barriers

June 26, 2008

Washington, DC—U.S. exports of steel scrap have risen sharply in the first four months of 2008, prompting the American Scrap Coalition ( to call for elimination of scrap trade barriers abroad.

Scrap exports reached 6,934,681 tons for the period January to April 2008, up 22 percent compared with the same period in 2007.  At this rate of increase, total steel scrap exports would reach more than 22 million tons by yearend, compared with 18.3 million tons in 2007.

Taiwan surpassed Turkey as the single largest export destination in the first four months of 2008, with 1,082,052 tons exported.  Turkey also received more than one million tons of U.S. scrap during that time.  Sharp increases in exports also occurred in Korea, Thailand, Egypt, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Greece, Pakistan, Singapore and Peru.

“The substantial barriers to scrap trade abroad mean that the United States has become the preferred source of scrap for the rest of the world,” said Alan Price, president of the new American Scrap Coalition and a partner at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, which serves as counsel to the Coalition.  “More than 20 countries limit their own scrap exports, including China, Russia, India, Indonesia and Ukraine.  They are protecting their own industries, at the expense of the United States and the rest of the world.  There is an urgent need for the government to take appropriate steps to eliminate these trade barriers.”

A detailed list of the top 20 destinations for U.S. scrap exports is found below and on the website of the American Scrap Coalition (   Up-to-date information on scrap prices and barriers to scrap trade is also available.

The Coalition includes industry associations representing more than 1,500 steel scrap consuming companies, who are calling on Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department to immediately address scrap trade barriers.  The Coalition has identified several priority issues:

  • Identify and remove barriers to trade in steel scrap, which hinder U.S. companies and global competition;
  • The U.S. carbon steel industry recycled approximately 75 million tons of ferrous scrap last year, with approximately 80 percent of that scrap consumed in Electric Arc Furnaces.  Recycling scrap metal is the most efficient way to make steel, and therefore results in the lowest level of greenhouse gas emissions.  The American Scrap Coalition will support and promote policies to encourage the recycling, recovery and use of recycled scrap material in production of new steel products; and
  • Consider actions by Congress, the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to remove trade barriers.

View the Top-20 Destinations for U.S. Scrap Exports - 2008.

Companies and industries wishing to join the American Scrap Coalition can register at, or contact Alan H. Price or Timothy C. Brightbill of Wiley Rein LLP, which serves as counsel to the Coalition.  The website contains additional information on scrap trade barriers, import and export levels and prices.