Metals Matter for Manufacturing Renaissance in U.S.

Posted on August 08, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

Last week, Daniel McGroarty, president of American Resources Policy Network, asked an important question: “Will Washington recognize the link between metals and manufacturing?” With various factors at play, including the emergence of low-cost energy sources and the re-shoring of operations, manufacturing is seeing a renaissance in the U.S. However, McGroarty points out one significant issue: a lagging critical minerals supply that is essential for manufacturing in the U.S.

“It turns out that even in our wireless world – perhaps especially in our wireless world — metals matter.  GE’s Anthony Ku testified that his company utilizes 75 of the first 83 elements on the Periodic Table, spending $40 billion a year on materials.  As the pace of technological change accelerates, and several billion people on the planet migrate from subsistence living to some semblance of a middle-class lifestyle, mineral and metal demand will rise – for arcane elements and familiar metals as well…in the manufacturing world, American companies face two choices:  either buy more copper from foreign producers, deepening U.S. import dependency –- or move their factories and fab plants outside the U.S., to where the metals are.   Neither option improves U.S. competitiveness, or meets the urgent need to generate jobs and GDP in this country.

“It’s time for Washington to consider whether the labyrinthine mine permitting process is driving U.S. companies – along with jobs and GDP – to the very countries we’re competing with in the 21st Century economy.”

McGroarty isn’t the only one speaking up about this important issue. Just two weeks ago, a number of experts called on Congress to take action to reform the current permitting process. We need policies that will support domestic minerals production to ensure a steady supply chain, lower materials costs for manufacturers and spur job growth here at home.

Read the full article here.

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