April 05, 2013
General Motors, one of America’s biggest automakers has plans t...
President Obama’s recent visit to the ArcelorMittal plant in northeastern Ohio directed a spotlight on the economic contributions of manufacturers — whose annual output surpassed $87 billion last year. The president’s decision to deliver an address at one of the world’s leading supplier of steel products also highlights the importance of minerals— like the iron ore needed to produce steel — to manufacturers like ArcelorMittal, who are actively creating jobs and recharging the economy.
Unfortunately, for many manufacturers in Ohio and across the country, minerals that are integral to their products are increasingly difficult to come by, resulting in higher operating costs and uncertain output. Despite more than $6.2 trillion worth of mineral and metal reserves in the U.S., domestic manufacturers currently rely on foreign sources for more than half of their mineral needs, all due to a duplicative permitting process for new mines that routinely delays projects for nearly a decade.
Fortunately, the House of Representatives recently passed the bi-partisan National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013, which would streamline mineral mine permitting while maintaining important environmental protections. Prioritizing the passage of this much-needed legislation in the Senate will ensure access to raw materials for manufacturers, shorten and simplify their supply chains, and spur job growth in Ohio and beyond.