US Legislation Attempts to Break China’s Monopoly on Unique Earth Minerals

Two United States senators have introduced legislation aimed at ending China’s claimed “chokehold” on rare earth metal supplies, according to a statement released by the legislators on Friday.

The legislation, which was introduced by bipartisan lawmakers in Congress, will try to ensure the United States can secure its supplies of rare-earth materials.

This is the second bill submitted by Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. They previously introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, barring members of Congress and families from trading stocks while in office.

Defending the Nation’s Security Interests

Cotton asserted in the statement that the Chinese Communist Party has a hold over the global rare-earth element supply; this can be used in everything from energy storage devices to fighter planes.

Rare-earth elements are utilized in everything from batteries to combat jets.

He stated that removing America’s reliance on the Communist Party of China for the mining and production of these components is crucial to winning the geopolitical contest against China. It’s also important for defending the United States’ security interests in the long run.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), China accounted for 80% of all rare-earth imports into the US in 2019.

As the statement revealed, the bill’s goal is to “protect America against the prospect of rare-earth element supply interruptions, stimulate local production of those components, and lessen the United States’ reliance on China.”

Under the terms of the bill, government agencies of the Interior and Defense would be required to establish a massive stockpile of rare earth minerals by 2025.

It would be the responsibility of this reserve to react to the demands of the Army, the technology industry, and other vital infrastructure for one year, in the case of an interruption in supply lines.

Securing the United States’ Position as a World Leader in Innovation

Among other things, it seeks to ensure greater access to information regarding the components’ emergence.

This furthermore prohibits the use of rare-earth minerals from China in advanced and powerful defense equipment. It calls on the Commerce Department to start investigating Beijing’s “unfair trade practices” and start imposing higher tariffs on goods as a result.

Kelly stated in a release that the bipartisan law will boost America’s position as a worldwide leader in innovation; this will happen by actively reducing the nation’s dependency on rivals, such as China, for rare earth materials.

According to the United States Geological Survey, China has some of the world’s greatest reserves of rare-earth metals, with 44 million tons of stockpiles, and it benefits from fewer stringent environmental restrictions than many of its rivals.

Beijing has utilized these deposits as a tool to impose political pressure on the United States. In response to a territorial dispute with Japan, China banned rare-earth supplies to that country in 2010.

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