National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn had a great piece in the Washington Times last week striking a tune that will be familiar to readers of our blog. Quinn argued that it’s time for the United States “to develop a strategy to bring more U.S. minerals mining operations online.”
Here are some of the piece’s key points:
• Mineral use in downstream industries has added $2.2 trillion to the 2011 U.S. GDP.
• The U.S. has $6.2 trillion worth of key mineral resources.
• Opportunities to shape our own destiny and boost manufacturing prospects are currently hampered by a “badly broken regulatory process,” in which it takes five times longer to get approval to mine minerals than in other countries – a clear deterrent to investors.
• Over the past two decades, our share of global investment in minerals mining has gone down from 21% to 8%, while our foreign import dependency rate has been increasing.
• Unlike other leading nations, the U.S. lacks a forward-looking mineral strategy. Failure to develop such a strategy will lead to supply disruptions threatening minerals users and manufacturers, and the U.S. economy as a whole.
• Legislation pending in the U.S. Congress begins to address the issue.
We couldn’t agree more with Quinn’s bottom line:
Instead of simply trying to coerce China into playing fair, Washington must realize that America’s wealth of mineral resources is an opportunity to address supply constraints and bolster U.S. manufacturing, innovation and national security. With the right policies in place, we can take control of our own destiny by fully utilizing our domestic resources and workforce, putting our economy on the path toward sustained growth.