WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after the House passed his amendment to secure the U.S. rare earth mineral supply chain and hold China accountable for exploiting the rare earth minerals industry:
“The United States faces an increased national security risk due to our reliance on other countries, like China, for supplies of rare earth minerals that are essential in the development of critical defense and telecommunications technologies of the future. This dependence also allows China to continue committing human rights and environmental violations to dominate the global rare earth market.
“My amendment aims to hold the Chinese Community Party accountable for exploiting the rare earths industry; and unlock America’s vast supply of rare earth minerals to secure our supply chain, protect U.S. national security, and remain the world’s leader in technology innovation and job creation.”
China currently accounts for over 80% of the worlds production of rare earth minerals. Today there are very few alternatives to China for sourcing rare earth minerals, causing the U.S. to heavily rely on China for supplies of rare earth minerals that are essential in critical defense, energy and telecommunication technologies.
This amendment seeks to emphasize the current U.S. dependence on rare earth minerals sourced from the Chinese Communist Party to highlight the need for a more secure supply chain to protect national security and leverage America’s vast supply of rare earth minerals. Chinese owned mines across the globe are known for exploiting child labor and committing human rights violations in an effort to corner the global rare earth market. Currently, renewable energy technologies rely on the extensive use of rare earth minerals and it’s critical that we focus on the threat that China poses to our rare earth supply chain and human rights across the world.