On April 9, 2018, representatives from the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) and ARA met with staff at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. The meeting was at the invitation of the Embassy to discuss areas in which auto recyclers on both sides of the border could better cooperate. Late in 2017, ARA had reached out to the Canadian Embassy to request a congratulatory letter for then incoming ARA President David Gold from Standard Auto Wreckers in Toronto, Port Hope and Ottawa. When the Embassy heard of a Canadian running a US-based organization within an industry they knew little about, they had to hear more.
The meeting was held in conjunction with ARA’s annual Hill Day and Mid-Year Board of Directors meeting. With the NAFTA re-negotiations underway, threats of pending aluminum and steel tariffs and trade wars, the timing of the meeting provided for a productive meeting. Several topics were discussed including the great working relationship between ARA and ARC; obstacles and opportunities to the import and export of parts, vehicles, scrap, and cores between the two countries; automotive manufacturer safety recalls and the role that auto recyclers should play; uninsured flood vehicles arriving in Canada and the safety implications; relationships with the OEMs; and the need for better data exchange with the OEMs on both sides of the border. The “urban-mining” of vehicles for metals – ferrous, non-ferrous, platinum group, lithium, cobalt, and rare earth metals was a great discussion as both Canada and the US undertake studies on sources and supply of these strategic metals. While there are obvious environmental and economic benefits to recycling these metals, both countries are looking to ensure a continental supply of these critical items, and auto recyclers are a key player in ensuring these materials are made available. The meeting concluded with a tour of the Embassy and a great photo opportunity from the rooftop patio overlooking the US capital.