Over the weekend, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) introduced the RE-Coop 21st Century Manufacturing Act, which combats China’s rare earth monopoly and instead encourages boosting U.S. advanced manufacturing. In turn, a privately funded Rare Earth Refinery Cooperative would be established.
It would be responsible for coordinating a domestic rare earth value chain that would serve U.S. national security interests that would restore competitiveness in the United States’ manufacturing industries.
Speaking on the bill, Senator Rubio explained that “as the Chinese government and Communist Party aggressively subsidize and invest in their own economy at our expense, we must shift our policies to restore the competitiveness of critical American industries for the 21stcentury.”
He added that “Beijing’s mercantilist tactics have contributed to a market failure for the development of rare earth resources, both in the United States and around the world.”
So, the Senator concludes that “continued U.S. dependence on China for the mining and processing of rare earths and the manufacture of those metals into useful products is untenable” and it poses a threat to the United States’ national security, mentioning that it also “limits our economy productivity, and robs working-class Americans of future opportunities for dignified work.”
Earlier this month, Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) penned a letter directed to Russel Vought, the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, questioning why “the federal government spends more than $32.5 million per year in foreign aid in China, a country wealthy enough not to need support from U.S. taxpayers.”
In the letter, Senator Scott asserted that “China is not our friend; they are our adversary.”
As well, Senator Marco Rubio has been a vocal critic of China, specifically maintaining that Huaweui, a Chinese multinational tech company, has attempted to spy on the United States.
With the RE-Coop 21st Century Manufacturing Act, Rubio addresses that “we can’t beat China by playing their game, which is why this bill harnesses the American cooperative model as a time-tested way to correct for failed markets without relying on heavy-handed federal intervention.”