Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) is leading the charge to reduce the United States’ reliance on China for critical minerals. Sen. Rubio has partnered with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D) to send a letter to the Biden official, calling for the U.S. to be more independent in this regard.
As the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Rubio led a group of bipartisan lawmakers in urging the Biden administration to reduce the U.S.’s reliance on China for minerals that are used on critical technologies, including through increased support from the government to U.S. private sector companies investing and operating in critical mineral projects.
This comes after Warner and Rubio hosted government officials and domestic industry leaders in a roundtable discussion on access to critical minerals.
In the letter, the lawmakers lament that “demand for critical minerals is growing exponentially, yet the U.S. substantially lags behind its adversaries in securing critical mineral supply chains. In fact, in many cases China controls nearly 100 percent of the end-to-end supply chain, and is actively seeking to maintain and increase its control of these resources around the globe.”
“Focusing the efforts of the U.S. government, in coordination with our allies, upon standing up processing, refining, and metallurgical capacity must be a priority if we are going to succeed in reducing our reliance on China for critical minerals,” the lawmakers continue.
In early 2022, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R) and Arizona Senator Mark Kelly (D) introduced the Restoring Essential Energy and Security Holdings Onshore for Rare Earths (REEShore) Act.
Cotton informed that “the Chinese Communist Party has a chokehold on global rare-earth element supplies, which are used in everything from batteries to fighter jets.” “Ending America’s dependence on the CCP for extraction and processing of these elements in critical to winning the strategic competition against China and protecting our national security.”