As manufacturers reshore, America is on its way to gaining back millions of jobs lost in the decade leading up to the global economic recession. However, to ensure continued growth, our government must address the concerns of U.S. manufacturers.
The U.S. manufacturing renaissance has been aided by the supply of affordable domestic energy. Access to abundant energy resources boosted U.S. manufacturing’s global competitiveness, making it economically attractive to reshore operations.
Another essential element for industries that gets far less attention is the minerals and metals used in many manufactured goods. Just as we need secure and affordable power to keep U.S. manufacturers competitive, we also need a reliable and secure supply chain for minerals and metals.
A recent survey of manufacturing executives, commissioned by the National Mining Association (NMA), reveals that U.S. manufacturers are seriously concerned about how the supply of minerals and metals can impact the success of their businesses.
Most survey respondents said they believe minerals and metals demand will only increase in the next 10 years. The items we depend on—ranging from health and transportation to communication needs, energy and even national defense—would not exist without minerals and metals. This includes everyday items like cell phones, laptops and cars, but also buildings, infrastructure, lifesaving medical devices and body armor.
Additionally, 91% of executives are concerned about supply disruptions outside of their control, citing geopolitics and increasing global demand as the most pressing factors.
The Reshoring Initiative’s analysis of hundreds of cases of reshoring shows, consistent with the survey’s findings, that the most important reshoring factor is proximity: having a short supply chain. The benefits of proximity include lead time, freight cost, excess inventory and supply chain disruption risk.
More on secure supply chain on IndustryWeek