President Donald Trump has made it clear, with or without the help of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, he is moving forward with his promise to put America first. The latest example is in the area of energy independence. The President recently took executive action to ensure that our economic prosperity and national security do not depend on importing natural resources from our adversaries.
His Sept. 30 executive order will allow America to expand domestic mining industry, create well-paying jobs, and reduce our dependence on China for critical, rare earth and other minerals by reducing unnecessary permitting delays. In addition, the president’s actions will ensure that America’s military dominance will not depend on natural resources from China.
Specifically, the order will allow the Department of the Interior to develop a program under the authority of the Defense Production Act to fund mineral processing that protects our national security.
As chairman of the Western Caucus, Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has been trying to achieve this same goal through congressional action for years. However, his efforts have been stymied by House Democrats.
“The Executive Order signed by President Trump is a great step in the right direction,” Gosar said in a statement to Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “The Congressional Western Caucus has been at the forefront of highlighting our unsustainable reliance on foreign adversaries in our critical minerals supply chain and this Executive Order recognizes that fact. Whether it be in our supply chain for medical devices, military aircraft and weapons systems, or even cell phones critical minerals are essential to our everyday life and we have the ability to mine them here in the United States safely and responsibly. I call on Congress to follow the President’s lead and pass some of the numerous critical minerals related bills that we have before us,” Gosar added.
Gosar has introduced legislation to secure our critical minerals supply chain and is sponsoring an amendment in the annual defense bill to end our mineral reliance on China.
“Protecting our minerals supply chain is essential for our economic well-being and security, and I continue to fight for this cause,” Gosar concluded.
Over the last several decades, our nation’s mining industry has suffered due to political inaction, a broken permitting process, and predatory foreign competition from China. As a result, today the United States relies heavily on China. This for imports of numerous critical minerals that are essential to America’s national security and economic prosperity.
The administration has identified the following critical minerals as essential to our national security: Aluminum (bauxite), antimony, arsenic, barite, beryllium, bismuth, cesium, chromium, cobalt, fluorspar, gallium, germanium, graphite (natural), hafnium, helium, indium, lithium, magnesium, manganese, niobium, platinum group metals, potash, the rare earth elements group, rhenium, rubidium, scandium, strontium, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, tungsten, uranium, vanadium, and zirconium.”
As noted in the order, “For 31 of the 35 critical minerals, the United States imports more than half of its annual consumption.”
“But we don’t have to be reliant on China,” explained ALG president Rick Manning. “We have all these natural resources within our own borders. We have allowed counties like China and Russia to lock up our resources. Congress and past administrations have made it harder and harder to develop what resources we still have access to. President Trump’s action is a no-brainer. It will put Americans to work and improve our national security.”
The action builds upon previous Trump executive actions. During his first year in office, the President took action to implement a federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals. In 2019, he signed five Presidential Determinations finding that domestic production of rare earth elements and materials is essential to the national defense. This newest order will cut down on unnecessary delays in permitting actions and make more funding available to help mining projects.
“While President Trump’s executive actions will make a difference in the short term, for long term prosperity, we really need these priorities and policies to come through congressional action,” concluded Manning. “That’s just another reason why this election is so important. We need not only a President who puts America First, we need a majority of the members of Congress to do the same.”