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plastic recycling

Is TPP Good for Plastics Recycling Industry?

plastic recyclingBoth presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which they say will hurt American workers.

But would the proposed trade deal boost the plastics recycling industry? As Resource Recycling reports, it depends who you ask.

The TPP aims to increase trade and improve economic relationships among a dozen countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean. It would do this by eliminating tens of thousands of import and export taxes, including those on scrap commodities and recycling equipment.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries recently released a statement supporting the TPP and urging Congress to approve the trade deal.

“Opening new markets and expanding access to existing trade partners, the TPP will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, make a positive contribution to our balance of trade, and create thousands of recycling jobs across America,” ISRI chair Mark Lewon and ISRI president Robin Wiener said in the statement.

On the other hand, Jonathan Bass, CEO of polystyrene recycling stakeholder PTM Images, told Resource Recycling that TPP will simply increase the amount of materials shipped overseas for manufacturing. He says these jobs should stay in the US. “America’s not even in play in manufacturing anymore,” Bass said.

Meanwhile, at a National Association of Manufacturing luncheon, a top ExxonMobil said plastic manufacturing in the US is getting a boost — but from the shale gas boom.

As reported by FuelFix, ExxonMobil Chemical president Neil Chapman projects the demand for plastics and other chemicals will increase more than 4 percent a year, double the demand growth for energy. China and India’s growing middle class is largely driving this growth, he said.

In an economic report published this week, the National Association of Manufacturing said manufacturing construction spending has risen 28.2 percent over the past 24 months, boosted by growing investment in the chemical sector, which continues to benefit from cheap natural gas.

At the luncheon, Chapman said a decade ago the US was the most expensive place in the world to produce chemicals. The shale drilling boom changed that.

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