LinkedIn Blog: Manufacturing Month Depends on U.S. Mining

Each October, leaders across the manufacturing supply chain mark Manufacturing Month. It is a time to reflect on the state of American-made goods, economic health and to prepare for challenges to come.

In recent years, efforts to reshore U.S. jobs and facilities have led to a manufacturing renaissance. According to research from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. is poised to overtake China by 2020 as the world’s most competitive manufacturing nation. Advanced manufacturing technologies, high worker productivity, and low energy costs are all helping drive this ascent.

But this manufacturing renaissance cannot succeed without a thriving domestic mining industry. Mining serves as the front-end of the supply chain for manufacturing.

Our abundant coal reserves power manufacturing facilities, keeping the lights on and machines running. Manufacturers rely on secure and affordable energy – like that produced from coal – to compete in a tough global market. In regions where coal generation serves as the primary source of electricity, retail electricity rates are significantly lower than the regions where coal generation is not a part of the electricity generation mix. This affordable domestic energy boosts manufacturers’ ability to reshore facilities and jobs back to the United States.

The U.S. is also home to an estimated $6.2 trillion worth of mineral and metal reserves. These raw materials can be found in just about every manufactured good – from automobiles, pacemakers to trains and iPhones; they even make up the machines that manufacture those products. Timely access to our abundant wealth of domestic minerals means shorter and more simplified supply chains, which is a significant driving force behind the re-shoring of manufacturing to the U.S.

“Made in America” isn’t just a pipe dream. We have the natural resources and the hard-workers to make it happen. What we need are responsible policies that allow us to use our raw materials to their fullest potential. When our domestic mining industry succeeds, our manufacturers do as well.