U.S. Metalcasting Matters
April 12, 2007
Benefits the American Economy:
Metalcasting is one our nation's oldest and most important industries. It was established in the United States in 1642 and since that time has helped our nation become the world benchmark in manufacturing, defense, science, medicine and aerospace.
- Cast metal components are the foundation for all other manufacturing. They are found in virtually every sector of our economy. Without castings, our society would not be able to plant and harvest crops, transport people and materials, explore space, conduct medical operations, communicate electronically, or defend our nation.
- Metalcasting plays a critical role in creating economic wealth, providing well-paying jobs, helping companies to be more competitive, sustaining economic growth, and providing for Americaâ€™s future prosperity. Today, foundries directly employ more than 200,000 workers.
- Since 1995, the metalcasting industry has been involved in an R&D partnership with government and industry to maximize investments in advanced technologies to lower production costs, improve energy efficiency, enhance environmental quality and create new applications for castings.
- We are the mainstay of national defense. All sectors of the U.S. military are reliant on metal castings for jet fighters, ships, tanks, trucks, weapon systems and other vital components.
Challenges to U.S. Metalcasting
Today, our industry is challenged as never before. We are faced with the most intense global competition in history and inundated by rising costs associated with regulations and other actions by our government, energy prices and health care. The U.S. metalcasting industry is embattled on a several fronts:
- Recession: The current economic climate has yielded the slowest manufacturing recovery in decades and resulted in significant job losses and numerous foundry closures.
- Foreign Competition: Most of our global competitors are free from complex regulations, high labor costs, and enjoy government trade protections and subsidies. [See "Trade" attachment]
- Government Regulations: A myriad of regulations impact our industry. The most immediate and threatening regulation on the horizon is EPA's Iron and Steel Foundry MACT. This will most certainly be onerous, expensive and damaging to the future of the industry. [See "Iron & Steel MACT" attachment]
- Energy: Our industry is faced with rising and volatile energy prices. We support government programs that emphasize increased efficiency, strengthened infrastructure, and investments in new technologies. [See "DOE" attachment]
Critical to America's Future
The mounting challenges faced by our industry are cause for concern and threaten the viability of our domestic metal casting industry. We need to work together to reverse this trend and ensure that the U.S. metalcasting industry remains strong and vital.
- Metalcasting technology has dramatically improved the quality of everything we use in our daily lives.
- The metalcasting industry is vital to American workers, to national security, to the U.S. economy, and to America's future.
For more information, contact the American Foundry Society Washington, D.C. Office at 202/842-4864.