June 11, 2019
A new U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) report recommends immedia...
Today we join in the celebration of Manufacturing Day, a day for Americans to learn more about manufacturing careers and the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy.
The basic fact is this: manufacturers depend on minerals. The raw materials that support nearly every vertical within the manufacturing industry—from the automotive sector to defense to high-technology—are intrinsically dependent on minerals, and by extension, minerals mining. Did you know that televisions require 35 different minerals and computer chips can require up to 60 minerals and elements? Each and every day, mining and manufacturing together propel American innovation and help bring to market thousands of products.
Strikingly, the United States’ reliance on imported minerals has more than doubled in the past 30 years due in large part to our nation’s lengthy and inefficient permitting process, which can delay mining projects for between seven and 10 years. In a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report, 78 percent of high-tech industry CEOs reported that they consider minerals and metals scarcity to be a pressing issue for their businesses. Some manufacturers have moved overseas to secure access to the minerals they need. With China’s recent deployment of export restraints and restrictions on rare earth minerals, the need for a reliable, domestic supply chain becomes more apparent with each passing day.
Ignoring this issue constrains our ability to remain competitive in a global economy, create jobs and foster economic opportunity. By recognizing the importance of manufacturing and its intrinsic relationship to minerals mining, we can develop policies that bolster our economy.