If China was already in the tank for Joe Biden, you can imagine that they will redouble their efforts to elect the former vice president now that Trump has introduced his latest executive order. This order, which is right in line with the president’s America First agenda, will use the Defense Production Act to encourage more domestic mining and lower the nation’s dependence on foreign countries – particularly China – for minerals needed in American production.
“I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, find that a strong America cannot be dependent on imports from foreign adversaries for the critical minerals that are increasingly necessary to maintain our economic and military strength in the 21st century,” the president wrote in the order. “Because of the national importance of reliable access to critical minerals, I signed Executive Order 13817 of December 20, 2017 (A Federal Strategy To Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals), which required the Secretary of the Interior to identify critical minerals and made it the policy of the Federal Government to reduce the Nation’s vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals.
“These critical minerals are necessary inputs for the products our military, national infrastructure, and economy depend on the most,” the order continues. “Our country needs critical minerals to make airplanes, computers, cell phones, electricity generation and transmission systems, and advanced electronics. Though these minerals are indispensable to our country, we presently lack the capacity to produce them in processed form in the quantities we need.”
The order goes on to explain that even though our economy desperately needs these minerals, we’re importing 14 of them from countries around the world. Sadly, those countries – like China – are often adversarial to our interests, putting us at a decided disadvantage.
“Our dependence on one country, the People’s Republic of China, for multiple critical minerals is particularly concerning. The United States now imports 80 percent of its rare earth elements directly from China, with portions of the remainder indirectly sourced from China through other countries,” the order states. “In the 1980s, the United States produced more of these elements than any other country in the world, but China used aggressive economic practices to strategically flood the global market for rare earth elements and displace its competitors.”
In a statement, the Coalition for a Prosperous America praised the president for taking action.
“We congratulate the president and his team for this long-overdue step to save U.S. mining,” said Dan DiMicco, chairman of the coalition. “Over the past two decades, the United States has become alarmingly reliant on countries like China to supply the metals and minerals needed for both national defense and advanced technologies.”
As far as what our nation needs to do to disentangle itself from China, this is barely a drop in the bucket. But, seeing as how there has been little action on Capitol Hill, it’s an important step in the right direction nonetheless.