US national security threatened by China’s dominance over critical minerals, senators say

A bipartisan group of senators are calling on the Pentagon to bolster its stockpile of critical minerals needed to manufacture modern military technologies for which they say the United States is increasingly dependent on China as a source.

The senses. Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, and Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, who both serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, say their legislation would bolster America’s strategic stockpile of key materials needed to meet needs. modern defense systems and ensure stable access to critical minerals for America and its allies around the world.

“Right now, our enemies like China are dominating the supply chain of these increasingly vital materials, and even expanding into regions like Africa and Afghanistan, threatening our preparedness in a dire situation. emergency and jeopardizing our national security,” Ernst said. .

The Pentagon maintains a stockpile of critical materials used by defense manufacturers and civilians for use in national emergencies, known as the National Defense Stockpile.

But according to a 2019 Congressional Research Service report, the United States is entirely dependent on imports of 14 minerals on the Pentagon’s list and 75% dependent on imports of 10 other critical minerals on the list.

Their bill would require the Department of Defense to research ways to ensure stable access to materials and give it the power to update its list of critical minerals to meet modern needs.

Meaning. Steve Daines, Republican of Montana; Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan; Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee; Rick Scott, Republican of Florida; and Angus King, independent of Maine, co-signed the bill which was introduced on Tuesday.

“By addressing weaknesses in our current national defense stock, our bill will strengthen America’s critical mineral independence and help ensure we have the resources we need for critical defense products and services,” Mr. Manchin said. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this crucial legislation.”

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Post expires at 4:51am on Monday June 27th, 2022