President Trump Signs Executive Order to Secure Our Critical Minerals Supply Chain

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Washington, October 1, 2020 | Doug Levine (202-225-2315) | comments

Today, members of the Western Caucus released the following statements after President Trump signed an Executive Order on addressing the threat to the domestic supply chain from reliance on critical minerals from foreign adversaries.  

“The Executive Order signed by President Trump yesterday is a great step in the right direction. The Congressional Western Caucus has been at the forefront of highlighting our unsustainable reliance on foreign adversaries in our critical minerals supply chain and this Executive Order recognizes that fact. Whether it be in our supply chain for medical devices, military aircraft and weapons systems, or even cell phones critical minerals are essential to our every day life and we have the ability to mine them here in the United States safely and responsibly. I call on Congress to follow the President’s lead and pass some of the numerous critical minerals related bills that we have before us,” said Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04). 

“The United States faces an increased national security threat due to our dependence on foreign adversaries for critical rare earth minerals that are essential in the development of advanced defense and telecommunications technologies. I applaud President Trump for taking action to reduce U.S. reliance on other countries, like China, for our supply of rare earth minerals and other crucial supply chain components. This is great news for unlocking America’s supply of rare earth minerals, securing our domestic supply chain, and protecting U.S. national security,” said Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01).  

“President Trump’s executive order supporting the mining industry is a critical step toward reducing our nation’s reliance on the Chinese Communist Party and bolstering our nation’s security. The CCP deceived the world about coronavirus and threatened to withhold critical medicines from the United States; there can be no doubt that China also views U.S. reliance on its critical minerals as a potential source of blackmail. Fortunately, Wyoming is blessed to have an abundance of rare earth minerals, trona, and uranium. The Administration’s actions will allow our producers to expand their operations, create much-needed jobs in the state, and protect our domestic supply chains from predatory foreign adversaries like China and Russia,” said Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (WY-AL).   

“Having a robust American critical mineral supply chain is vital for our national security, energy dominance and overall economic health. This move by the Trump administration will bolster our nation’s ability to wean off and eventually end our reliance on China for rare earth minerals,” said Executive Vice Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03).  

“There is no good reason we should be dependent on foreign nations for critical minerals while we have such rich deposits here at home, produced under some of the best environmental and labor standards in the world. It is about time we stop being reliant on countries like China for our mineral supply, and President Trump’s executive order is a step in the right direction. By increasing our mining and manufacturing capabilities, we can ensure a consistent supply chain of minerals needed to produce renewable energy, advanced technologies, healthcare products, infrastructure, and countless applications essential to our national defense. I look forward to continuing this work with President Trump and leadership across his administration,” said Chair Emeritus Rob Bishop (UT-01). 

“President Trump understands the necessity of an impenetrable domestic supply chain for our nation’s military, national infrastructure, and economic needs. For decades, our country has been reliant on countries like China to provide the critical minerals we need to produce goods, from batteries and cellphones to airplanes and national defense equipment. By promoting responsible domestic mining, the United States will take a significant step toward increasing our independence from China. I applaud the President for taking yet another action to protect our national security, secure our supply chains, and support American industries,” said Vice Chairman for the Departments of Energy and Interior Dan Newhouse (WA-04). 

“Critical and strategic minerals are essential to the technologies that make our daily lives and economy work. I commend President Trump for recognizing the significant threat posed by our nation’s present reliance on foreign sources of minerals and taking critical action to move the ball toward the goal line on this issue,” said Vice Chair for Policy and Appropriations Mark Amodei (NV-02).  

“I thank President Trump for continuing to make America strong and less dependent on other countries for critical resources. By expanding domestic mining and processing capacity, the United States will see more job creation and avoid supply chain disruption. Self-reliance from China’s imports proves President Trump’s unwavering commitment to empower Americans, strengthen our economy, and enhance our national security,” said Vice Chairman for Regulatory Reform Andy Biggs (AZ-05).  

“There’s no doubt about it: we absolutely must reduce American dependence on critical minerals from foreign adversaries. In the event of a geopolitical crisis, our current supply chain would be crippled. President Trump’s executive order sends a strong message that we will not be relying on foreign entities to supply our critical minerals. We have a rich supply of resources right here in the U.S. that we can tap into in safe, sustainable ways that are good for the environment. I look forward to using innovation to increase our domestic mineral production,” said Vice Chairman for Infrastructure and Forestry Bruce Westerman (AR-04). 

“For decades, America’s mining industry has suffered at the hands of foreign competition from China. President Trump’s Executive Order will expand domestic mining, supporting thousands of American mining jobs and reducing our dependence on China for critical minerals. America certainly should not be depending on China for precious materials that are critical to our national defense – this should rest solely in our own hands. Additionally, electric vehicles and green energy mandates will require a significant increase in critical mineral production. It would be hypocrisy to continue the years’ long delays for mining and mineral processing permits. By streamlining our development of critical minerals at home and creating jobs for American workers along the way, this Executive Order is a win-win. I am grateful that President Trump has, once again, put America first,” said Vice Chairman for Agriculture and Chief Business Officer Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). 

"Minerals are critical to items we utilize every day. Take a look around you: from your computer to your smartphone, to your kitchen appliances and your automobile; minerals are used to manufacture countless products used by you, me, and even those who oppose mineral development right here in the United States. Our nation is being outpaced by adversaries, like China, that have total disregard for our environment and basic human rights. This is not just an economic issue, but a national security one as well. Our supply chain is threatened when our enemies dominate the mining industry. The United States must end its reliance on foreign minerals, and I applaud President Trump for taking decisive action. This Executive Order is welcome news for our mining sector, both in Alaska and across the country. I have been a long-time supporter of mineral extraction and our hardworking miners. I will continue working to ensure that American minerals and the countless jobs they support are leading the way around the globe," said Vice Chairman for Indian Affairs and Fisheries Don Young (AK-AL). 

“I applaud President Trump’s issuance of an Executive Order to protect and expand the domestic supply chain for critical minerals and reduce our vulnerability to adverse foreign government action, natural disaster, or other supply disruptions. Our current near dependence on China and other foreign adversaries for both processed and unprocessed critical minerals poses a grave threat to our national security. China’s domination of the critical mineral market illustrates the strategic vulnerability of America’s manufacturing and defense industrial base. Over the last several decades, China has eroded our domestic production and processing capabilities through aggressive government actions to strategically flood the global market with critical minerals at subsidized prices, drive out competitors, and deter new market entrants. Increasing our domestic industrial capability to produce the full range of critical minerals for use in DoD and essential civilian applications is vital to our economic and military strength,” said Vice Chairman for Defense and Veterans Doug Lamborn (CO-05). 

“COVID-19 has further shined a light on the deficiency of our critical minerals supply chain and highlights the urgency in which we must expand domestic mining. Now more than ever, we need Minnesota’s miners as we work to eliminate dependence on unreliable nations that utilize forced child labor and environmentally destructive practices for goods that we, in the United States, use in our everyday life. I applaud this Administration for acting on my request and taking this monumental step towards empowering Minnesota’s miners to responsibly source the resources needed for our national security, infrastructure, and manufacturing needs,” said Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08). 

“The Executive Order signed by President Trump is a huge step towards mineral independence. This Administration’s commitment to mining critical minerals in the United States will ensure the strength of our national security, and bring jobs that went overseas back to states like Minnesota. I have long advocated to allow responsible domestic mining of the resources our nation has to offer. These minerals are used in the technologies we use every day, military equipment, and much more. Reliance on foreign production of these minerals at the expense of Minnesota jobs is irresponsible, and I am grateful that the Administration has taken this action,” said Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06). 

“National security and the U.S. economy are two of my biggest priorities in Congress, so I am extremely supportive of the White House taking action that supports both. We can and should be mining and processing critical minerals here at home. It creates jobs and reduces our dependence on China. This is the right move for America,” said Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02). 

"For too long, America’s critical minerals management policy has been characterized by bipartisan complacency and neglect. President Trump’s order today represents a rejection of that dangerous legacy, making Americans safer by reducing our dependence on Communist China,” said Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07). 

“I commend the Trump Administration’s work to mitigate our reliance on critical minerals coming from foreign adversaries. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities of the U.S. to foreign control of manufacturing and supply chains for a variety of critical minerals. These minerals are essential to energy, transportation, defense, electronics, and aerospace. Establishing more control over these supply chains is important from both a national security and environmental perspective,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03). 

“Our national security and economy depend on critical minerals, including rare earth elements, yet the supply chains for these minerals are far too vulnerable to foreign pressure. I applaud President Trump for taking action to secure our access to critical minerals. By encouraging the development of domestic sources, our country can decrease its dependence on China and create jobs here,” said Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09). 

"I strongly support the President's Executive Order to investigate and reduce our dangerous overreliance on foreign countries for critical minerals. For far too long, we have disproportionately depended on adversaries, particularly China, to provide minerals that are vital to our economy and our national security. This action puts America's safety first and will cut through red tape to increase our domestic supply of critical minerals, creating more American jobs in the process," said Congressman Paul Cook (CA-08). 

“Overreliance on foreign adversaries for critical minerals is a threat to our national and economic security. These materials are essential in the production of everyday consumer products, renewable energy infrastructure, and weapons systems that keep all Americans safe from foreign threats. I applaud President Trump’s executive order that will provide more secure supply chains and encourage domestic production of these key mineral resources,” said Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42).  

“I’m glad President Trump has signed an Executive Order to expand our domestic mining industry and reduce burdensome government regulations on critical minerals. This will rebuild our economy and also protect our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign adversaries for these resources,” said Congressman Alex X. Mooney (WV-02). 

Background 

Western Caucus members have lead the way on highlighting the importance of securing our critical mineral supply chain. Earlier this year, Chairman Gosar, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Chair Emeritus Rob Bishop, Congressman Frank Lucas, and Congressman Michael Waltz introduced comprehensive legislation to secure our critical minerals supply chains. 

Western Caucus members have also been outspoken in support of critical minerals mining projects such as the Twin Metals Mine and Resolution Copper Mine. These vital projects are under constant attack from radical environmentalists and Congressional Democrats hellbent on circumventing local support and sound science. More information on this can be seen HERE.  

In addition, members have also offered other important critical minerals proposals this Congress. Executive Vice Chairman Scott Tipton has sponsored a bill aimed at rehabilitating our domestic critical mineral processing capabilities, an integral part of securing our supply chain. Also, Vice Chairman for Policy and Appropriations Mark Amodei has sponsored legislation to streamline the permitting process for critical minerals projects and accurately define what are strategic and critical minerals.  

Background courtesy of the White House

The text of the Executive Order can be seen HERE

Message to Congress can be seen HERE

A fact sheet can be seen HERE

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