ARPN’s Dan McGroarty discusses President Trump’s decision to invoke the Defense Production Act to spur domestic REE development for The Economic Standard:
The Tech Wars Heat Up: U.S. Makes National Security Declarations to Spur Rare Earths Development
Forget the trade war – the tech war is heating up. After weeks of Chinese threats that it could cut off U.S. access to the essential technology materials known as rare earths, the Trump Administration today took a counter-action of its own.
Jennifer Dlouhy has the story at Bloomberg News: “Trump invoked the 69-year-old Defense Production Act — once used to preserve American steelmaking capacity — to remedy what he called ‘a shortfall’ in production of the super-strong magnets made with rare-earth minerals neodymium and samarium.” In fact, the White House published five separate Title III declarations, carefully identifying each category of rare earths plus the powerful permanent magnets — and the smart bombs and precision-guided munitions — they make possible.
“domestic production capability for separation and processing of Heavy Rare Earth Elements is essential to the national defense.
Without Presidential action…, United States industry cannot reasonably be expected to provide the production capability for separation and processing of Heavy Rare Earth Elements adequately and in a timely manner.”
How will China respond to the new U.S. action? And how quickly can the U.S. close the rare earths gap — with production today at zero, even as known U.S. rare earth resources exist — before China loses its leverage over materials the U.S. Government has deemed critical to “the national economy and national security?”