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Legislation introduced in US Congress to stop export of e-waste to China

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Alleging that China regularly uses e-waste to counterfeit electronics while returning these dangerous faux products, including critical military equipment, back into the market, a group of Congressmen on Monday introduced a legislation to stop export of electronic waste to the Asian giant.

If passed by the Congress and signed into law by the president, the Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA) would stop the flow of e-waste from the US and would require domestic recycling of all untested and nonworking electronics, which will also promote the creation of thousands of new jobs in the United States.

The Congressmen said that consumers' safety and national security are directly threatened from counterfeit electronics that have infiltrated the supply chains of defence contractors, private sector industries, domestic markets, and US's critical infrastructure.

According to a 2012 report by the Senate Armed Services Committee, these counterfeit parts can compromise the reliability of defence systems at the moment the US need them most, which is an unacceptable risk for servicemembers who must rely on sophisticated electronic equipment.

The report notes that, 'much of the material used to make counterfeit electronic parts is electronic waste, or e-waste, shipped from the United States and the rest of the world to China.'

Despite the national security implications, the United States does not currently have a national policy on e-waste exports.

E-waste exports to China directly threaten US national security and economic interests, said Congressman Adriano Espailla.

Despite the recently enhanced prevention and detection measures imposed on e-waste, the current situation remains untenable and requires a comprehensive strategy to choke off counterfeiters' feedstock: American e-waste exports, he said.

Aside from the national security concerns this bill addresses, SEERA mitigates the damaging effects on the caused by China's unchecked recycling of e-scrap, which contains toxic materials such as lead, PCBs, mercury and more, he said.

China regularly counterfeits electronics and puts these dangerous products, including critical military equipment, back into the market, alleged Congressman Paul Cook. These electronic components threaten the reliability and safety of a wide range of technology, he added.

"SEERA will ensure we're not exporting electronic scrap materials that return to us as counterfeit parts and undermine the reliability of technology essential to our national security," Cook said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 01 2019. 21:50 IST