Against the backdrop of the upcoming two-year anniversary of the Presidential Executive Order on Critical Minerals, trade publication Industry Week discusses the issue of U.S. over-reliance on foreign mineral resources in its latest issue.
Recounting some of the key steps taken by the federal government in recent months – i.e. last year’s Department of the Interior (DoI) list of 35 minerals deemed critical from an economic and national security perspective, and this year’s long-awaited interagency report submitted to the President pursuant to the above-referenced executive order, the piece outlines China’s mineral dominance and willingness to play politics with its status.
It cites ARPN’s Dan McGroarty, who during a recent panel discussion reminded attendees that the Chinese-American confrontation “isn’t a trade war for dominance,” and that “the United States can’t beat state-owned companies that are able to stay active with backing of their state (read: China)” — which is why the United States must invest in innovation.
During the event, McGroarty called for the federal government to adopt an “all-of-the-above” approach to mineral resource policy in the context of working toward “resource independence,” a comprehensive focus on new mining, recycling and reclamation of new minerals from old mine tailings to alleviate our mineral resource dependencies.
While there are indications that the importance of a comprehensive approach is not lost on policy makers from both sides of the political aisle — a bipartisan consensus on how to best get there is yet to be achieved.
Hopefully, progress is on the horizon here, because as McGroarty pointed out, “we can’t admire the problem anymore. We don’t have the luxury of time,” because once supply chains are formed, “it’s very difficult to break them, and this will have national security consequences for us.”