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September 2004

ISRI Expresses Approval of Commerce Department Decision

Washington— ISRI President Robin Wiener praised the Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security for its decision on the short supply petition filed in April.

“Commerce clearly looked at the facts and came to the right conclusion,” Wiener said. “Export controls are bad policy, bad for the economy, and are counter to overall U.S. trade policy. We are glad that the Commerce Department agrees and we applaud their decision.

“There is simply no shortage of available copper scrap. Copper is a global commodity that contributes in excess of $700 million annually to the U.S. balance of trade. Restricting exports of copper scrap would have eliminated the market for a large portion of copper scrap that is not, and likely cannot be, used domestically.

“We will also continue to call on the Commerce Department, the State Department, and the U.S. Trade Representative to work toward the removal of export controls in place in other countries,” she said. “Free and fair trade benefits us all.”

On April 7, the Copper and Brass Fabricators Council and the Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society and members of these organizations filed a petition for the imposition of monitoring and controls with respect to exports from the U.S. of copper scrap and copper-alloy scrap. The Commerce Department received public comment and held a hearing on the petition on May 19. The law required that the Commerce Department make its decision by July 22. Copies of ISRI’s statements are available on the ISRI website, www.isri.org.

ISRI led the opposition to the control petition, spending nearly $250,000 for research and legal fees in their fight. Hundreds of ISRI members contacted the White House and their congressmen this past week to make sure the Administration was well-aware of the potential impact of export controls on an industry that directly employs more than 30,000 people and tens-of-thousands more who supply the scrap recycling industry with materials.

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