E-waste Reform Legislation to Protect National Security Introduced by Reps. Cook and Espaillat

By on July 13, 2019

New legislation to stop the flow of e-waste to China and other countries that regularly counterfeit electronics has been introduced by Rep. Paul Cook (R-8th District-Apple Valley) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-13th District-New York). The national security bill, HR 3559, the Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA), would ensure that such e-waste does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may reenter military and civilian electronics in the United States.

“China regularly counterfeits electronics and puts these dangerous products, including critical military equipment, back into the market,” stated Rep. Cook. “These electronic components threaten the reliability and safety of a wide range of technologies. 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. I thank Congressman Espaillat for his leadership on this issue.”

HR 3559 would require the domestic recycling of all untested, nonworking electronics from the United States and thereby end the flow of e-waste that can be used to undermine our national security. The intent is to keep the e-waste in in the United States and keep them out the hands of counterfeiters and data thieves. However, the SEERA legislation permits the export of tested, working equipment; This area of exportation is expected to grow, creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for Americans. AS an additional safeguard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees would be authorized to inspect shipments of electronic products intended for export. If necessary, these federal employees could stop the shipment and hold the shipper accountable.

Rep. Espaillat said, “I appreciate the bipartisan effort to curb China’s baneful economic practices, and I am delighted to work with my colleague, Representative Paul Cook, on our bill to abate e-waste exports to China, which directly threaten our national security and economic interests. 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. Aside from the national security concerns this bill addresses, SEERA mitigates the damaging effects on the environment caused by China’s unchecked recycling of e-scrap, which contains toxic materials such as lead, PCBs, mercury and more.”

Rep. Cook is Yucaipa’s U.S. Congressman. Additionally, he is a member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees. Rep. Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps with the rank of Colonel. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Rep. Cook’s Yucaipa office is located at 34282 Yucaipa Blvd. in Yucaipa. The phone number is: 909-797-4900. Please call for office hours before visiting or to schedule an appointment.