Hatch: We Need Secure and Reliable Mineral Supply Chain to Boost U.S. Economy
April 24, 2015
Gareth Hatch stresses the importance of minerals to our economy a...
Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, recently wrapped up a national radio media tour to discuss his efforts to bring manufacturing jobs and services back to the U.S. and to help realize the full potential of the nation’s manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing jobs and operations have moved outside the U.S. over recent decades, and the U.S. mine permitting process, Moser says, is partially to blame. The laborious and inefficient process impedes timely access to raw materials which are required to meet manufacturing needs. As a result, many companies move their production overseas to countries that can provide the necessary materials within a more suitable timeframe. This stunts economic growth and removes jobs opportunities for Americans.
Offshoring mining operations only adds to our reliance on metals and minerals imports, which generates a new set of challenges for domestic manufacturers as they try to build a secure and reliable mineral supply chain. The Reshoring Initiative recognize these challenges and works to bring “manufacturing back home” by helping companies assess their total cost of offshoring—including production, jobs and materials costs. The goal is to help manufacturers realize that reshoring production is more cost effective and to shift the collective thought from “offshoring is cheaper” to “local reduces the total cost of ownership.” For example, Moser clarifies the misconception that manufacturing in other countries, like China, is always considerably cheaper. Moser explains that the final unit selling cost of a product in China results in only a 5-10 percent price difference compared to the U.S.
Data proving the high costs of offshoring is just one part of demonstrating why reshoring is imperative. Moser explains, “Production of more minerals in the U.S. is possible. We have $6 trillion worth of reserves.” This estimated value of undeveloped mineral resources highlights the need for a permitting process that allows access to our U.S. resources. Mining is a critical partner in stimulating economic recovery. Mineral mining contributed more than $2 trillion and made up 15 percent of the nation’s GPD in 2012. Mining also supports more than 1.3 million U.S. jobs.
Recent reshoring efforts are increasing the demand for U.S. mineral resources. Unfortunately, the fact that the U.S. currently lags in mineral production must be addressed before the nation will be able to sufficiently meet the growing domestic manufacturing industry’s needs.