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Message to the Congress on Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain from Reliance on Critical Minerals from Foreign Adversaries

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat posed by our Nation’s undue reliance on critical minerals, in processed or unprocessed form, from foreign adversaries.

A strong America cannot be dependent on imports from foreign adversaries for the critical minerals that are increasingly necessary to maintain our economic and military strength in the 21st century. Because of the national importance of reliable access to critical minerals, I signed Executive Order 13817 of December 20, 2017 (A Federal Strategy To Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals), which required the Secretary of the Interior to identify critical minerals and made it the policy of the Federal Government “to reduce the Nation’s vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals.” The critical minerals identified by the Secretary of the Interior are necessary inputs for the products our military, national infrastructure, and economy depend on the most. Our country needs critical minerals to make airplanes, computers, cell phones, electricity generation and transmission systems, and advanced electronics.

Though these minerals are indispensable to our country, we presently lack the capacity to produce them in processed form in the quantities we need. American producers depend on foreign countries to supply and process them. Whereas the United States recognizes the continued importance of cooperation on supply chain issues with international partners and allies, in many cases, the aggressive economic practices of certain non-market foreign producers of critical minerals have destroyed vital mining and manufacturing jobs in the United States. We must reduce our vulnerability to adverse foreign government action, natural disaster, or other supply disruptions. Our national security, foreign policy, and economy require a consistent supply of each of these minerals.

Using the authority vested in me by IEEPA, the Executive Order requires the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, and the heads of other executive departments and agencies, as appropriate, to investigate our Nation’s undue reliance on critical minerals, in processed or unprocessed form, from foreign adversaries. Following this investigation, the Executive Order requires the Secretary of the Interior to submit a report to the President recommending additional executive action.

The Executive Order also declares that it is the policy of the United States to protect and expand the domestic supply chain for minerals. Specific executive department and agency heads, including the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Energy, are directed to take various actions to protect and expand the domestic supply chain for minerals, consistent with applicable law, such as the publication of guidance, the revision of regulations, and the acceleration of the issuance of permits.

I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 30, 2020.

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