U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement after the Department of Commerce released a report with 61 recommendations to rebuild the United States’ critical minerals supply chain.
“I welcome this report, which provides clear direction on how to reduce our reliance on foreign minerals and thereby strengthen our economy and national security,” Murkowski said. “I urge the administration to swiftly implement its recommendations, especially those that encourage domestic mineral production and continued research into processing technologies, and will continue my work to complement these efforts with new legislative authorities.”
Today’s report is the result of an Executive Order that President Trump signed in December 2017 directing the Departments of Commerce, the Interior, Energy, Agriculture, and Defense, and the U.S. Trade Representative to develop a strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals for the nation.
The United States’ foreign mineral dependence has increased significantly in recent years. In 2018, the U.S. imported at least 50 percent of its supply of 48 mineral commodities, including 100 percent of 18 of them.
U.S. mineral security has become a frontline issue as domestic vulnerabilities to foreign supply restrictions are increasingly recognized as a rising threat to our economy, competitiveness, and national security. At stake is the United States’ ability to maintain a robust manufacturing sector and lead on the development of emerging technologies such as electric vehicles.
Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has repeatedly focused the committee’s attention on this issue. She has introduced legislation to reduce our nation’s foreign mineral dependence in multiple Congresses, including S. 1317, the American Mineral Security Act, in the 116th Congress.