Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R) has spoken at length of the need for the U.S. to become independent from China regarding rare earth minerals. With tension between the U.S. and China escalating, Sen. Cotton says the U.S. needs to become independent now more than ever. Joining his call to action is Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R).
In a new op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Rep. Waltz decries China, warning of a mineral crisis.
In his assessment, Waltz argues that the issue stems from "when the Biden administration abandoned Afghanistan last year." From this, Waltz stresses that the Biden administration also left a "'free minerals' sign for an estimated $1 trillion to $3 trillion worth of lithium, copper, and other rare earth minerals buried below Afghanistan's surface."
For Waltz, it's disappointing because he argues that the Biden administration knew of the minerals located in Afghanistan, adding that he "helped commission the geological survey while working in the Pentagon back in 2006 that discovered those minerals."
China is now strengthened because they have a "near-monopoly over the rare earth mineral market," which has emboldened it to "not only increase its economic footprint but cash in on the West’s policy shift toward a green economy that will be powered by these very minerals."
Waltz writes that this will damage the economy because the Inflation Reduction Act allocates $300 billion in green subsidies that will result in the United States being "forced to spend these funds on Chinese manufactured minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries and other systems."
To accurately respond to the concern, the Florida Republican posits that the U.S. should engage in a policy shift, offering that "the U.S. needs to expand its critical mineral strategic stockpiles to ensure our military has adequate reserves, including of minerals like antimony, should we be brought into military conflict that would likely involve the CCP choking supply chains as part of their strategy."