New Congressional Research Service report addresses rare earth element supply chain implications
April 18, 2012
A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on rare earth eleme...
According to an article published in IndustryWeek last Friday, the ways in which manufacturers manage their natural resources in the coming decade will be a determining factor of success. The author points out that the U.S. supply chain is burdened by various factors, including a growing global middle class that will continue to put pressure on resources worldwide—making it that much more important for U.S. manufacturers to have stable access to key domestic minerals.
As if that isn’t enough reason to support a streamlined U.S. minerals mining permitting policy, U.S. minerals mining supports more than 1.2 million jobs nationwide and is on track to add between 11,000 and 13,000 jobs per year over the next 20 years. Additionally, with a mineral supply worth $6.2 trillion dollars, the U.S. is well-positioned to deliver a steady supply chain that will support manufacturers across the country.
As the article notes, “over half of the CEOs surveyed said that energy and resource risks have ‘overtaken consumer spending and behavior’ as one of the top three threats to growth prospects.” Unfortunately, our current permitting process is outdated, entangled in red tape and fraught with duplication. It stalls projects, places manufacturing supply chains at risk and keeps high-wage jobs on the sidelines.
With greater urgency placed on our nation’s supply chain, U.S. minerals mining policy reform should a top priority. In order to best position U.S. manufacturers for success over the next decade, we need to create a reliable supply chain, in which minerals are readily accessible and able to sustain U.S. manufacturing.