By Zero Hedge
Global Research, March 29, 2018
As it tries to strike an agreement with the US to avert a trade war that economists fear could destabilize global markets, China has an ace up its sleeve that it’s just about ready to play: The Communist Party last year implemented a ban on imports of recyclable material that is provoking a mild panic in the US.
The US relies on China to “import” much of its bulk recyclable waste. But last July, in an effort to battle the “illegal foreign garbage” influx into China, the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection notified the World Trade Organization that it plans to ban imports of 24 types of solid waste materials, including soda bottles, mixed paper, recycled steel and newsprint.
Despite the threat to implement the ban by the end of the year, the document stated that the “proposed date of adoption” is “to be determined.”
But by moving ahead with the decision, China risks creating serious problems for the global recycling industry, something that would probably have the greatest impact on the US by essentially forcing it to make difficult choices about how it processes its solid waste, including – most notably – how and where it is stored.
According to Reuters, which was the first western media outlet to report on the decision, the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries said at the time that the ban would devastate an industry that supported 155,000 jobs and had exported scrap worth $5.6 billion to China in 2016. . .