Peters, Romney, and Lankford Bipartisan Bill to Reduce Dependence on China and Other Adversarial Nations for Critical Minerals Advances in the Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and James Lankford (R-OK) to reduce the United States’ reliance on China and adversarial nations for critical minerals has advanced in the Senate. Critical minerals and rare earth metals are used to manufacture electric vehicle batteries, military equipment, and other technology that is vital to American economic competitiveness and homeland security. China is currently the largest source for more than half of the critical minerals on the U.S. Geological Survey’s 2022 list that the United States imports, such as lithium and cobalt. The senators’ bill would address this threat to our manufacturing supply chains by creating an intergovernmental task force to identify opportunities to increase domestic production and recycling of critical minerals. The bill was advanced by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where Peters serves as Chair, and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

“Promoting domestic production of critical minerals will ensure that America is able to remain economically competitive on the global stage while also becoming less dependent on adversarial nations like China for these critical resources,” said Senator Peters. “This legislation would strengthen our domestic supply chain, create more good paying jobs here at home, and address a serious threat to our national and economic security.”

“The United States’ reliance on China for critical minerals creates serious vulnerabilities for our national security,” said Senator Romney. “The task force this legislation creates would pull in stakeholders from across government to help identify how we can strengthen our supply chains and bolster production of critical minerals here at home.”

“The United States should not depend on communist China to keep our critical mineral supply chain running. Relying on China for critical minerals means relying on our adversary for batteries, medical supplies, and military equipment,” said Senator Lankford. “We need to prioritize American-produced and made energy solutions and give US suppliers a seat at the table.” 

The bipartisanIntergovernmental Critical Minerals Task Force Act requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director to create a task force and appoint representatives from federal agencies who must consult with state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments. The task force will work to determine how to address national security risks associated with America’s critical mineral supply chains and identify new domestic opportunities for mining, processing, refinement, reuse, and recycling of critical minerals. The legislation would also require the task force to publish a report to Congress and publish findings, guidelines, and recommendations to combat the United States’ reliance on China and other foreign nations for critical minerals.

Below are statements in support of the senators’ bipartisan legislation:

“This government-wide critical minerals task force is a smart and necessary plan from Senators Peters, Romney and Lankford to boost national and economic security. They understand that when it comes to the mining and processing of critical minerals – a key component to electric vehicle batteries – when China dominates, America doesn’t control its own destiny. The U.S. just doesn’t mine and process nearly enough of these materials. This bipartisan bill is a good step toward a national strategy to ensure more critical mineral supply chains run through the U.S. and our allies,” said John Bozzella, president and CEO, Alliance for Automotive Innovation. 

“Under the Stellantis 2030 Dare Forward plan, we are targeting of 50% for U.S. battery electric vehicle sales by 2030. Critical minerals are the key to unlocking this clean, affordable electric vehicle future. Stellantis currently meets the IRA’s critical minerals requirements for electrified vehicle tax credits and applauds Senator Peters and the other sponsors for working to ensure a safe, secure, and reliable EV supply chain and for working to expand U.S. production of critical minerals,” said Shane Karr, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs North America, Stellantis.

“General Motors applauds the bipartisan support for the Intergovernmental Critical Minerals Taskforce Act. Global competition for the transportation technologies of the future has never been higher, and the development of secure, sustainable, scalable, and cost-competitive supply chains is critical to establishing the U.S. as a global leader in electrification. GM is making historic investments in the U.S. to transform our portfolio, strengthen American manufacturing and jobs, and localize and build more secure and resilient supply chains. We thank Senators Peters, Romney, and Lankford for their leadership and look forward to continuing to engage with the U.S. Congress on this important issue,” said Omar Vargas, Vice President, Global Public Policy, General Motors.

“Ford applauds Senators Peters, Lankford and Romney’s bipartisan leadership to strengthen our domestic supply chains for the critical minerals needed to power the EV revolution. This intergovernmental task force will bolster American manufacturing and assure that the United States is on the forefront of automotive and energy innovation for years to come,” said Christopher Smith, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Ford.

For our American Automakers – Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis – there are few issues that are more important than reliable and secure access to the critical minerals that will help power our industry’s transition to EVs,” said Governor Matt Blunt, President of the American Automotive Policy Council. “We applaud Chairman Peters’ leadership, joined by Senators Romney and Lankford, in this bipartisan effort to enhance critical mineral supply chain coordination at all levels of government. This effort, along with several other EV-related policy initiatives, will leverage federal, state, and local resources to help our automakers make good on their steadfast commitments to an EV future in America. Chairman Peters and his Senate colleagues clearly understand that our nation must strengthen its domestic supply chains for critical minerals to prevent an overreliance on other markets for EVs and the batteries that power them,” said Governor Matt Blunt, President of the American Automotive Policy Council.

“The Sierra Club applauds Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Gary Peters for working with Republicans to make sure governments and environmental, Tribal, and labor stakeholders at every level identify opportunities to ensure that essential tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act are fully utilized. It’s time to modernize our antiquated mining laws to spur a just transition to clean energy. The Intergovernmental Critical Minerals Task Force Act forges a path to create the greatest possible climate and public health benefits, while mobilizing investments in frontline communities to create good union jobs in the American clean energy industry,”  said Harry Manin, Deputy Legislative Director, Living Economy, Sierra Club.