The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers applaud President Biden’s actions to instruct U.S. federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act to advance production and protect energy assets in the name of national security. This instruction takes additional important steps to address ongoing inconsistencies in the supply chain to reduce the overwhelming strain of recent months.
There are good union jobs all along the battery mineral supply chain, from the mine to the electric vehicle assembly plant. But the U.S. is not mining nickel, cobalt and other critical minerals fast enough to secure the battery supply chain. Ironworkers and other skilled trades are ready to build out mining capacity. The president’s action is an essential step toward getting these projects built.
Current world events have proven beyond a doubt that we cannot rely solely on critical materials, including semiconductors, minerals, oil and gas, from other continents to meet our needs. The unpredictability of the ongoing global pandemic paired with foreign conflicts and a rapidly growing economy give us little choice but to strengthen support for the projects and industries that keep America moving.
The Iron Workers are hopeful the president’s actions will put the economy on the fast track to producing essential components needed to power an all-of-the-above energy infrastructure while ironworkers get back to work building, repairing and maintaining these critical structures. The Iron Workers hope to see this memorandum paired with swift action by agencies to move critical mineral projects through the permitting process and clear away obstacles to construction. Federal action just like this is essential to rebuild physical infrastructure, supply chain and energy outputs while simultaneously creating good union jobs.
IW Statement on the Defense Production Act