American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Canada Takes Steps Towards A North American Battery Supply Chain

    Canada is currently in the process of positioning itself as “a cornerstone of the North American battery supply chain,” writes James Frith in a recent piece for Bloomberg.

    Pointing to two battery cell manufacturers choosing Canada as a future site of operation —UK-headquartered Britishvolt and Canadian-headquartered Stromvolt — Frith argues that “Canada is now on course to create a strong domestic battery supply chain” — which, in light of increasing EV demand in North America, could grow to “challenge the dominance of China, and it is quickly catching up with the growing industry in Europe.”

    From south of the border, these developments are highly relevant in the context of an emerging North American integrated supply chain for critical minerals, with Canada and the United States being able to leverage a long history of close cooperation and trade, as well as the USMCA free trade agreement — under which “batteries produced in Canada can be sold to the EV supply chain in the U.S.”

     Both countries have in recent years explored ways to cooperate in their efforts to secure critical mineral supply chains, but in the past few months, against the backdrop of starkly rising demand scenarios for the metals and minerals underpinning the green energy transition, calls for a further deepening of cooperation between the two countries have been getting louder.  Most recently, former U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson made the case for tackling “this new challenge by together establishing our place in the global supply chain.”

    At ARPN, we’re all in on collaboration — however, it should not distract us from responsibly building out our own domestic mining and processing capabilities for critical minerals.  As we’ve said before:

    “Let’s do it. Let’s build out an integrated North American supply chain for critical minerals where possible — but let’s also not forget that closer cooperation with our friends and allies AND strengthening domestic resource development should not be considered mutually exclusive strategies.”


  • Time to “Decouple and Control” our Critical Mineral Resource Supply Chains

    The ongoing coronavirus pandemic tearing through our communities is more than a health crisis — it has “exposed the fragility and flaws of globalized supply chains and extensive offshore production, especially drugs and medical gear,” writes Austin Bay in a new column for Townhall with a special emphasis on China.  

    Hopes that China would liberalize in the wake of economic globalization that had “entwined the U.S. and Chinese economies in the 1990s” were misplaced. Warning signs of this — and of the consequences of an over-reliance on China for critical materials (such as in the form of the 2010 rare earths embargo) — were ignored, but with COVID-19, the chickens have come home to roost. 

    To minimize the damage and better prepare for the future, it is time for the United States to “decouple and control,” says Bay, explaining “[d]ecoupling is wonkspeak for separating supply chains. (The word’s easy; the chains and decoupling process are complex horrors.) ‘Control of production’ means ‘build it yourself.’”

    Bay invokes last month’s Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on securing supply chains post-COVID, during which panelists briefed Senators on the urgency of the situation and drove home the point that “China and Russia have significant control over ‘upstream raw resource supplies’ and manufacturing finished products.”

    He argues that as America begins the – arguably painful — process of decoupling and controlling, it can rely on allies like Mexico, Canada, and “roughly a dozen other nations for the production of critical military and health-related goods,” and that especially the new NAFTA, United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) which has replaced the nearly 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, can be a “powerful economic and diplomatic tool for decoupling from China’s pirate economy.” Other allied nations in the Indo-Pacific, Bay thinks, might be good candidates for a similar arrangements going forward, as China cannot be trusted.  

    Writes Bay:

    “Beijing’s recent decision to impose its national security law on Hong Kong renders the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 null and void.(…) So another Chinese Communist Party guarantee has entered the dustbin of history. (…)

    To protect their own political, economic and military security, the U.S. and other democracies must treat Beijing’s CCP regime as the aggressive adversary it is.”

    Thankfully, the urgency of the situation is — finally — resonating with U.S. policymakers on Capitol Hill, in the Cabinet Departments and at the White House. Legislation has been drafted and introduced, and new executive orders take aim at domestic strategic materials and critical mineral development.  Cabinet departments like the Department of Energy are also broadening their focus to account for the risks associated with our over-reliance on foreign (and especially Chinese) critical metals and minerals.

    Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the U.S. had begun to enter into cooperative agreements with allied nations to ensure future supplies of critical materials, specifically with Canada and Australia. As we emerge from the fog of COVID-19, forging ahead with these types of agreements, and fostering a policy environment conducive to harnessing the United States’ vast domestic mineral potential will become paramount for our national security and economic wellbeing.

  • ARPN’s McGroarty: Copper to the Rescue in Fight Against COVID-19, Future Pandemics?

    In a new piece for The Economic Standard, ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty zeroes in on the anti-microbial properties of Copper as a potential weapon in the fight against COVID-19 virus and future pandemics. We previously discussed the issue here and here. Read the full piece courtesy of The Economic Standard: Copper Beats Corona: A New, Old [...]
  • A Mineral Resource Policy for 2020 – New Year’s Resolutions for Resource Policy Stakeholders

    We realize that New Year’s resolutions are somewhat controversial.  Some say, they‘re not worth the paper they’re written on – but we feel that whether or not we implement all of them, they offer a good opportunity to both step back to reflect and set goals as we look at the big picture ahead. And that [...]
  • 2019 in Review – Towards an “All-Of-The-Above” Approach in Mineral Resource Policy?

    We blinked, and 2020 is knocking on our doors. It’s been a busy year on many levels, and mineral resource policy is no exception. So without further ado, here’s our ARPN Year in Review. Where we began: In last year’s annual recap, we had labeled 2018 as a year of incremental progress, which had set [...]
  • ARPN’s McGroarty for The Hill: Strength through Peace – Dropping Sec. 232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel Could Strengthen U.S. Position vis-a-vis China

    In a new piece for The Hill, ARPN’s Dan McGroarty zeroes in on the inter-relationship of trade and resource policy, which has been an increasingly recurring theme over the past few months. McGroarty argues that the removal of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from Mexico and Canada, which have been a “dead weight on [...]
  • Aluminum and the Intersection of Trade and Resource Policy: U.S. Senator Discusses Need to Remove Sec. 232 Tariffs

    In an interview with Fox and Friends, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) discusses the path to what he terms a major trade victory for the U.S.  In order for this to happen, he believes removing the Sec. 232 tariffs from the USMCA, the new and yet-to-be-ratified U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal to replace NAFTA struck in [...]
  • Section 232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel on the Way Out?

    News headlines these days are full of doom and gloom. As the Guardian writes, “whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will interact with the nature of cognition to make us think that it is.” Against this backdrop, it’s nice to see a little – albeit cautious – optimism [...]
  • Metals in the Spotlight – Aluminum and the Intersection between Resource Policy and Trade

    While specialty and tech metals like the Rare Earths and Lithium continue to dominate the news cycles, there is a mainstay metal that has – for good reason – been making headlines as well: Aluminum.  Bloomberg recently even argued that “Aluminum Is the Market to Watch Closely in 2019.”  Included in the 2018 list of 35 [...]
  • 2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    Out with the old, in with the new, they say. It‘s new year‘s resolutions time.  With the end of 2017 having set the stage for potentially meaningful reform in mineral resource policy, we outlined a set of suggested resolutions for stakeholders for 2018 in January of last year.  And while several important steps  were taken [...]