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U.S. International Trade Commission : Remanufacturing Expanding in Many U.S. Industrial Sectors, Says USITC; Growing Activity Supports At Least 180,000 Jobs

11/28/2012 | 12:14pm EST

November 28, 2012
News Release 12-120
Inv. No. 332-525
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The United States is the world's largest producer, consumer, and exporter of remanufactured goods, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its publication Remanufactured Goods: An Overview of the U.S. and Global Industries, Markets, and Trade.

Remanufacturing is an important and growing activity in many industrial sectors and supports at least 180,000 jobs throughout the United States, according to the report. Remanufacturing is the industrial process of restoring end-of-life goods to original working condition.

The USITC recently concluded the investigation for the U.S. Trade Representative. The report, based on survey data, covers the period 2009-11 and focuses on remanufacturing-intensive sectors that account for the majority of remanufacturing activity in the United States.

The report provides an overview of the U.S. remanufactured goods industries and markets, including U.S. remanufacturing production and employment, estimates U.S. and global trade in remanufactured goods, and examines factors affecting trends in remanufactured goods trade. Highlights of the report follow.

  • During the period 2009-11, U.S. production of remanufactured goods grew by 15 percent to at least $43 billion, supporting 180,000 full-time jobs. The largest U.S. remanufacturing sectors are aerospace, heavy-duty and off-road equipment, and motor vehicle parts.
  • U.S. production, employment, and exports are growing in many remanufacturing sectors but are still small compared with overall U.S. manufacturing activities.
  • U.S. exports of remanufactured goods total $11.7 billion in 2011, up 50 percent compared with 2009. Canada, the European Union, and Mexico are important markets for U.S. exports of remanufactured goods. About 40 percent of U.S. remanufactured goods exports went to free trade agreement partners.
  • Key factors affecting the competitiveness of U.S. remanufacturers in all sectors and markets are the availability and relative price of cores (the used goods to be remanufactured), transportation and labor costs, the comparative price of remanufactured goods and new goods, the availability of lower-priced new alternatives, and customer perceptions about price and quality.
  • Remanufacturing and trade in remanufactured goods and related inputs in many foreign markets are limited. Foreign regulatory barriers are a significant impediment to U.S. and global trade in remanufactured goods. The lack of a common definition of remanufactured goods hampers increased U.S. and global trade in remanufactured goods.
  • The United States and the European Union account for the bulk of global remanufacturing activity and trade. Although Brazil, India, and China are developing their own remanufacturing industries in response to growing domestic demand, they tend to restrict trade in remanufactured goods and related inputs the most.

Remanufactured Goods: An Overview of the U.S. and Global Industries, Markets, and Trade (Investigation No. 332-525, USITC Publication 4356, October 2012), will be available on the USITC's Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4356.pdf. A CD-ROM of the report may be requested by emailing pubrequest@usitc.gov, calling 202-205-2000, or contacting the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed at 202-205-2104.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analysis on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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