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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • McGroarty in The Hill: Copper Should Be Factored Into NAFTA “Auto Rules of Origin” Negotiations

    In a new piece for The Hill, American Resources Policy Network principal Daniel McGroarty zeroes in on the intersection between trade and resource policy.

    Against the backdrop of the current negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), McGroarty argues that one of the metals ARPN followers have come to know as a key Gateway Metal – Copper – should be included in the new set of rules on NAFTA’s “auto rules of origin” provision on which negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico may be nearing agreement.

    He explains:

    “Metals used in our cars have simply been “deemed to originate’ within NAFTA, no matter that they come from Asia, the EU or elsewhere. Not surprisingly, the percentage of non-NAFTA materials in NAFTA country products has risen from 14 to 27 percent in the first 15 years of the treaty.

    President Trump and his trade team have prioritized removing this blind spot on raw materials. According to officials close to the talks, there is an emerging consensus to add aluminum and steel to the country of origin requirements, which will strengthen the demand for these key metals.

    That’s progress. But before the ink dries, here’s one more metal that the Trump team should be considering that would bring benefits to the western part of the U.S.: copper.” 

    Followers of ARPN will understand the underlying reasons: Copper is far more than your old school mainstay metal, and is becoming increasingly indispensable for a broad range of technologies, including the electronic vehicle sector. It is also a Gateway Metal to co-products like Rhenium, Tellurium, Cobalt and REEs, all of which can be found on Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s recently-released draft critical minerals list – thus inviting beneficial national security implications to the suggested addition of Copper to NAFTA’s content list.

    Concludes McGroarty:

    “Right now, the U.S., Canada and Mexico are all among the world’s top 10 copper-producing countries (Nos. 4, 8 and 10, respectively), collectively producing over 2 million metric tons a year. With demand already outpacing supply, there’s a ready market for more North American copper production. There is simply no reason to allow non-NAFTA countries “copper citizenship” (or steel or aluminum for that matter) when it comes to calculating the North American content in our cars.

    Doing so punishes North American metals and minerals producers, and contributes to a chilling effect that depresses the incentives for increased resource production. And while Mexico doesn’t produce much in the way of aluminum or steel, its significant copper production would give it a ‘metals win’ in the NAFTA negotiations.

    With copper usage in electric vehicles ready to redefine metals requirements in the automotive sector, the U.S., Canada and Mexico should ensure that the supply chain for copper inputs is part of the strategy to make North America’s integrated supply chain — from mine to market — as competitive as possible.”

    To read the full piece click here.

    And to learn more about Gateway Metals and their Co-Products, read ARPN’s latest report here

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  • Mamula & Moore: Current Federal Policy Efforts Opportunity for “Huge Turnaround for Reducing Dangerous Mineral Imports Through Responsible Mining”

    In a new piece for National Review, geoscientist Ned Mamula, who is an adjunct scholar at the Center for the study of Science at the Cato Institute and a member of the ARPN panel of experts and Heritage Foundation senior fellow Stephen Moore offer up their take on the current – and long overdue – push to reduce our over-reliance on foreign non-fuel mineral imports.

    Followers of ARPN are well aware that, as Mamula and Moore argue,

    “Mineral imports have steadily increased for at least the past two decades because draconian permitting requirements and environmental opposition have made it hard to supply those needs from sources within the U.S. Now there is not enough domestic mining to meet robust manufacturing demand.

    However, the real problem is that more and more mineral imports are coming from China, Russia, and third-world dictatorships.”

    Against this backdrop, the recent executive order “to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals for the nation” and the subsequent release of a draft list of 35 metals and minerals critical to U.S. national security is a welcome development.

    The piece includes an interesting chart that combines the draft list with one of ARPN’s favorite charts – the 2018 iteration of USGS’s page six of its annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report.

    Mamula and Moore place much of the blame for our ever-increasing import dependency on misguided environmental overreach. They write:

    “The problem is definitely not a shortage of domestic mineral sources. In fact, the U.S. is well endowed with mineral resources, according to numerous reports by the USGS. The nation was much more mineral self-sufficient in the 1990s, when it led the world in mining output. Since then, however, the U.S. has lost much of its capacity to mine, refine, smelt, or process critical minerals and metals because of a broad anti-mining agenda among many of the more militant environmental groups.  

    Ironically and unfortunately, ‘greens’ oppose many mineral-resource policies that would actually facilitate environmentally beneficial outcomes, such as renewable energy.” 

    In spite of the vastness of mineral riches beneath U.S. soil, they argue, “poor federal stewardship policies that restrict exploration in areas of known mineral deposits” have led to “dangerous” mineral resource dependencies.

    Mamula and Moore see the executive order and resulting policies as an opportunity for a “huge turnaround for reducing dangerous mineral imports through responsible mining:”

    “This EO commits the country to reducing its vulnerability from mineral-import overreliance while paving the way for a cleaner and safer planet through existing and new technologies used by America’s mining industry. Increased domestic mining of abundant mineral resources is absolutely necessary for the economic health of our nation and is a long overdue America First strategy.”

    Click here for the full piece.

    Also, read Daniel McGroarty’s public comments on the DOI draft list here.

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  • Green: Over-reliance on Foreign Mineral Imports “Fiscally Foolish and Politically Dangerous”

    In a new piece for The Hill, member of the ARPN expert panel and president and founder of Washington, DC-based government relations firm J.A.Green & Company Jeff A. Green stresses the national security risks associated with our over-reliance on foreign sources of supply for key mineral resources. Citing FBI Director Christopher Wray, who recently told [...]
  • Member of ARPN Expert Panel Outlines Implications of Executive Order Targeting Critical Minerals

    Amidst the latest political drama, bomb cyclones and button size comparisons which are dominating the news cycle, you may have missed two great pieces of analysis by member of the ARPN panel of experts Jeff Green, president and founder of Washington, DC-based J.A. Green & Company – so we are highlighting them for you: In [...]
  • Ned Mamula Joins American Resources Panel of Issue Experts

    We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Ned Mamula, a senior geoscientist with over 30 years of experience in energy and mineral research and resource policy issues, has joined the ARPN Panel of Issue Experts. Currently a scholar with the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, Mr. Mamula has spearheaded resource [...]
  • “Time to Start Digging, America”

    In a recent piece for The Hill, William Murray, federal energy policy manager, and Ned Mamula, associate fellow for the Washington, D.C.-based R Street Institute, lament that while policy makers and stakeholders are increasingly focusing on energy security issues, leaders are failing to pay “the same attention to a national security risk at least as [...]
  • ARPN’s McGroarty for Investor’s Business Daily: U.S. Mineral Resource Dependence a “Clear and Present Danger”

    Against the backdrop of growing threats to U.S. security – recent flash points involve Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea – a new Presidential Executive Order “On Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States,” zeroes in on defense readiness. The E.O. requires heads from various [...]
  • USGS Report Bellwether for National Security Crisis?

    For over two decades, the United States Geological Survey has released its Mineral Commodity Summaries report.  And while ARPN followers will know how important this publication is, as it provides a snapshot of our nation’s mineral resource dependencies, in most years its release has gone largely unnoticed beyond the circles of mineral resource wonks. This year, a [...]
  • Through the Gateway: Rio Tinto Partners with Critical Materials Institute (CMI) in Research Partnership to Recover Wide Range of Gateway Metals from Domestic Resources

    For the past few months, the American Resources Policy Network has highlighted the concept of “Gateway Metals” and “Co-Products” in the context of our “Through the Gateway”-campaign.  It would appear that people in government and the business community are taking note:  The Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) has just announced it will join with global mining and minerals company Rio [...]
  • Through the Gateway: Rhenium – Rare and Sexy?

    It has helped make airline travel affordable. It helps keep us safe. And it may just be sexier than Salma Hayek – at least in the eyes of one observer.  We’re talking about Rhenium, yet another metal brought to us largely courtesy of Copper refinement.  A silvery white, metallic element, Rhenium, according to USGS, has “an extremely high [...]

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