Made in America: How new regulations could boost Minnesota’s mining industry

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:00 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN -- President Joe Biden announced new regulations Monday meant to keep infrastructure money within the United States.

Under the new rules, any project built with money from the bipartisan infrastructure legislation will be required to use American-made products.

Local lawmakers, like Congressman Pete Stauber (R MN-08), said the rule will boost industries in the arrowhead of Minnesota.

“I support made in America, manufactured in America, mined in America. Today’s announcement was the enforcement mechanism of that,” he said.

Stauber voted against the infrastructure bill last fall.

He said one of his main concerns was that it would outsource manufacturing, but he believes the new regulation is an opportunity to hold legislators accountable for using American products.

Stauber fully supports the new rule and believes it will help create jobs, particularly for industries like mining and steelmaking.

“‘Buy American’ provisions are extremely important for the legislation because that puts our friends and neighbors - it employs them in the Iron Range,” said Stauber.

Steve Bonach, Union President of USW Local 1938 representing Minntac employees said the rules should create more work for miners, potentially resulting in more jobs on the Iron Range.

“There would be, I would assume, more jobs, not only for our trades but also for the construction industry,” Bonach said, “We’ve been dealing with Chinese imports and everywhere else for years and this would be huge for us.”

Waivers will be available if products aren’t available or if they begin to get too expensive.

Biden’s goal is to get to a point where the waivers won’t be needed, but he hopes to offer some flexibility in the first few months.

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