Guest Op-ed: Servicing a $2.2T bill for recovery of the U.S. economy – by Gary M. Sandquist (Standard-Examiner – April 14, 2020)

With approval of a $2.2 trillion emergency aid package by the U.S. Congress and its obvious increase in the surging U.S. national debt, the U.S. must now address how to restore the economy and regain the health and welfare of its citizens.

There are many practical considerations that can make vital contributions to our recovery. These are not major budget items like resolving the economic fallout from the coronavirus and the securing the future of U.S. health care and environmental quality.

What the U.S. Congress should do besides providing financial handouts and more deficit spending is to approve changes in the permitting process for new U.S. mines so the country doesn’t depend on critical minerals and metals from overseas sources, especially China. The full impact of COVID-19 upon the world will prove to epic.

Hard-rock minerals, particularly metals, are the building blocks of the U.S. economy. These processed minerals are required for health care (e.g., medical ventilators), national defense, transportation, telecommunications and energy technologies. Virtually every U.S. industry must have a secure, affordable supply of these minerals.

Minerals, ranging from commodity metals like copper and magnesium to the 17 rare elements, are required in the production of critically important hardware and successful recovery of the United States.

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