Washington, DC – Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Steve Stivers (R-OH) today introduced the Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA), legislation that will protect the environment and national security by restricting export of untested, nonworking electronic scrap from the United States. Introduced with strong support from the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER), SEERA will ensure America’s e-waste does not end up in toxic dumps in developing countries and choke off the flow of raw materials used by electronics counterfeiters.
“There is a bipartisan consensus around the threat that China presents to our critical supply lines, environment, personal information, and national security – I was proud to work with my colleague, Congressman Stivers, on our bill to abate e-waste exports to China. The vulnerabilities presented by China’s handling of American e-waste was illuminated in a 2012 Senate Armed Services Committee Report. But in the nearly ten years since its release, we have yet to take the necessary steps to address the problem,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY). “Our e-waste flow is on track to reach 27 million tons by 2030, and until we turn it off, our national security and environment will be under threat by the malign actors in China. Furthermore, we will continue to miss out on the economic benefits from this industry as China’s e-waste industry is on track to be worth $23.8 billion by 2030. It is beyond time that we take action.”
“For nations who seek to undermine the U.S., one man’s trash is truly another’s treasure,” Rep. Stivers said. “In our efforts to counter China’s growing influence, this bill is an important step. Thanks to Representative Espaillat and all involved for their leadership on this critical issue.”
SEERA will also deliver a variety of benefits for the American economy by requiring domestic processing of untested, nonworking e-waste. SEERA will increase high-value exports of refurbished computer equipment and commodity-grade material refined from used electronics. U.S. recyclers will be better able to attract investment, expand capacity and create up to 42,000 quality jobs for Americans.
SEERA includes exemptions for materials considered low risk because they are unlikely to be used by counterfeiters or recycled overseas under primitive conditions, including:
- Tested, working used electronics
- E-scrap that has been shredded or demanufactured, which may be exported for use as feedstock for smelters and other recycling processes
- Recalled electronics, which may be exported for repairs
The Coalition for American Electronics Recycling is the voice of the emerging e-waste recycling industry on Capitol Hill. Our industry will play an integral role in protecting national security and the environment by providing secure, domestic e-recycling services for government and businesses. CAER includes more than 150 companies and supporting members operating more than 300 facilities in 37 states as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.