Congressman Paul Cook

Representing the 8th District of California
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Reps. Cook and Espaillat Introduce E-waste Reform Legislation to Protect National Security

Jul 1, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-New York) introduced HR 3559, the Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA). This national security bill stops the flow of e-waste to China and other countries that regularly counterfeit electronics. The bill will ensure that such e-waste does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may reenter military and civilian electronics in the United States.

SEERA would require domestic recycling of all untested, nonworking electronics from the United States to end the flow of e-waste that can be used to undermine our national security. By keeping these materials in the United States, we will keep them out the hands of counterfeiters and data thieves. Under SEERA, the export of tested, working equipment will continue and is expected to grow, creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for Americans. Customs and Border Protection would be authorized to inspect shipments of electronic products intended for export, stop the shipment, and hold the shipper accountable.

Rep. Cook said, “China regularly counterfeits electronics and puts these dangerous products, including critical military equipment, back into the market. 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.”

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.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.