Reschenthaler, Lamborn Lead Effort Supporting President Trump’s Executive Action On Critical Mineral Independence

October 30, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) and Doug Lamborn (CO-5) led a letter commending President Donald J. Trump for his leadership in addressing America’s reliance on critical minerals from foreign adversaries. By signing Executive Order 13953 and declaring a National Emergency to take on this challenge, President Trump is working to secure our critical mineral supply chain and end our dependence on China for these vital resources, which are used in everything from computers and cell phones to defense systems. Fifty-two Republican Members of Congress, including Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and Whip Steve Scalise (LA-1), joined this effort.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear we must secure our supply chains and end our dependence on China and other foreign bad actors for the materials we use every day," said Reschenthaler. "I commend President Trump for taking executive action to ensure our economic prosperity and protect national security by encouraging domestic mineral processing. I remain deeply committed to working with the president to get Americans back to work, restore economic growth, and support innovation so we can maintain our economic and military strength in the decades ahead."


Specifically, Executive Order 13953, “Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain from Reliance on Critical Minerals from Foreign Adversaries and Supporting the Domestic Mining and Processing Industries,” allows the Department of the Interior to develop a program to use its authorities under the Defense Production Act to fund mineral processing that protects our national security. This action will cut down on unnecessary delays in permitting actions, providing Americans opportunities for jobs and improving economic and national security.


Currently, the United States is 100 percent reliant on imports for 17 vital mineral resources and more than 50 percent dependent on imports for another 29 mineral commodities. Despite our nation’s abundant supply of mineral reserves, China is the world’s leading producer of 23 of the 35 minerals the Departments of Interior and Defense list as critical, and controls 90 percent of global rare earth element production.


Previously, President Trump recognized the importance of critical minerals in Executive Order 13817 and his July 22, 2019 Presidential Determinations regarding rare earth elements.