The Rare Earths Monthly Metals Index (MMI) posted no movement for this month’s index reading, as President Donald Trump signed an executive order that aims to strengthen the domestic mining industry and mitigate dependence on foreign sources of critical minerals.
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New executive order again takes aim at U.S. import dependence
Late last month, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that seeks to curb U.S. dependence on foreign sources of critical minerals.
Chief among those foreign sources is China, which controls an overwhelming majority of the world’s rare earths mining and processing.
“Our dependence on one country, the People’s Republic of China (China), for multiple critical minerals is particularly concerning,” the executive order reads. “The United States now imports 80 percent of its rare earth elements directly from China, with portions of the remainder indirectly sourced from China through other countries.”
The order calls for the U.S. to enhance its mining and processing capacity, including some minerals not identified as critical.
“By expanding and strengthening domestic mining and processing capacity today, we guard against the possibility of supply chain disruptions and future attempts by our adversaries or strategic competitors to harm our economy and military readiness,” the order continues.
Furthermore, the report calls for the Secretary of the Interior to consult with several other department heads. They will investigate the U.S.’s reliance on foreign sources for critical minerals. After the investigation, the Secretary of the Interior will submit a report to the president within 60 days.
The report, the order reads, will summarize the investigation’s conclusions and recommend executive action. Potential actions include tariffs, quotas and import restrictions against China and other “non-market foreign adversaries.”