Here in Washington, this summer is unlike any other. Policymakers are assessing the challenges of economic recovery amidst surging cases of coronavirus in some areas of the country and deliberating on top priorities for the future. In an important step forward, the Trump administration recently issued an executive order aimed at facilitating infrastructure projects and improvements to help support economic recovery and put Americans back to work. The order presents a unique opportunity for America’s mining industry, as infrastructure projects rely on reliable minerals-based supply chains.
As senators illustrated at a recent hearing on mineral supply chains amidst COVID-19, now is the time to secure our supply chains and reshore critical industries that inevitably impact infrastructure projects and our economy. Without addressing duplicative regulations and unnecessary delays, our country cannot rebuild using American made materials, equipment and jobs. In a compounding dilemma, the source for our national success depends on key policy changes to incentivize investments in and support of domestic mining. Put simply, the U.S. minerals mining industry possesses the capacity to support the mineral requirements of an ambitious series of infrastructure projects. But these can’t happen without reforms to the lengthy permitting process that prevents new mines from being approved in a competitive time frame.
For years, mining has warned of the potential risks of our nation’s growing reliance on foreign sources of minerals. The massive disruption of supply chains during the pandemic has been indicative of this risk. Now, we urge policymakers to learn from these periods of hardship and deliver progress for America’s mining industry to support increased use of the minerals we have here at home. The future health of our economy will be marked by how government moves to address these concerns today.
We must take commonsense steps to clear the obstacles to responsible mining in the Unites States, securing a pathway for a brighter economic future for our country and all Americans.
NMA President and CEO