Resource nationalism encompasses a broad range of political and economic actions taken by Governments to regulate the extraction of natural resources within their borders. Policies such as increased tariffs or export restrictions can have far-reaching economic effects on international trade. As the Governments of several developing countries consider enacting nationalistic policies, an examination of the 2014 mineral export ban in Indonesia provides an instructive example of the possible impacts of resource nationalism. Significant changes in the production and trade of unprocessed (that is, ores and concentrates) and processed (that is, refined metal) aluminum, copper, and nickel before and after the export ban form the basis of this study.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Minerals Information Center (NMIC) tracks production and trade of mineral commodities between producer and consumer countries. Materials flow studies clarify the effects of an export ban on different mineral commodities by assessing changes in production, processing capacity, and trade. Using extensive data collection and monitoring procedures, the USGS NMIC investigated the effects of resource nationalism on the flow of mineral commodities from Indonesia to the global economy.