WASHINGTON—The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has advanced the Intergovernmental Critical Minerals Task Force Act. The bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Gary Peters (D-MI), and James Lankford (R-OK), would reduce the United States’ reliance on China and adversarial nations for critical minerals and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
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 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. I’m proud to see this legislation pass out of Committee and look forward to its consideration before the full Senate.”
“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 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 bipartisan Intergovernmental 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.