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U.S. Chamber supports strategic metals bill

United States Congress

Bearing testimony to the fact that access to critical mineral supplies is a key issue for our U.S. domestic business and manufacturing base, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R, Nev.) “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013” (H.R. 761)

Citing the Behre Dolbear report we have frequently invoked in our publications, one of the main points made by the Chamber in its letter of endorsement is the United States’ outdated and rigid permitting process, which the bill sets out to streamline:

“Of the 25 top mining countries, according to the Behre Dolbear Group’s annual Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment Where “Not to Invest,” the United States is tied with Papua New Guinea for having the most mining permitting delays. As a result, the United States remains a major importer of strategic and critical minerals, despite having vast reserves, and has become increasingly dependent upon foreign sources for these minerals. H.R. 761 would reduce permitting delays while protecting the environment which would in turn increase domestic production of these much needed minerals.”

Rep. Amodei’s legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year, but was not taken up by the Senate. With 57 co-sponsors having signed onto the legislation, this year’s bill already had more original co-sponsors than the final total number of sponsors of last year’s version, which may indicate favorable odds for its passage. The bill may hit the House floor before the end of this month, so stay tuned for updates.