July 09, 2018
As the House and Senate convene on the National Defense Authoriza...
“Does America Need Manufacturing?” The New York Times Magazine asked last month in an exploration of whether the United States can compete with China for the next generation of manufacturing jobs. Noting the loss of 5 million domestic manufacturing jobs in the past decade, the Times highlighted lithium battery producers in Michigan as a potential sector resurgence and in the process, revealed the vital relationship between minerals mining and manufacturing:
“When you’re manufacturing anything, even if the work is done by robots and machines, there’s an incredible value chain involved,” Susan Hockfield, the president of M.I.T., says. “Manufacturing is simply this huge engine of job creation.” For batteries, that value chain would include scientists researching improved materials to companies mining ores for metals; contractors building machines for factory work; and designers, engineers and machine operators doing the actual plant work.” – The New York Times
The manufacturing of lithium batteries, wind turbines, solar cells and other advanced energy technologies depends on raw mineral materials. The United States needs policies that support domestic minerals production to ensure a steady supply chain, lower materials costs for manufacturers and spur job growth here at home.