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United States Senators Are Calling For The Defense Act (PDA) to Be Used to Address The Supply Chain Crisis!
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- Two of the 4 signatories to a letter sent on Friday are Murkowski and Manchin.
- Graphite, nickel, manganese, lithium, and cobalt are mentioned in the letter.
United States Senators from both parties issued a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden on Friday afternoon, urging him to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to speed up the production of battery materials required to power electric vehicles.
According to the letter, which was signed by Republican Lisa Murkowski, Democrat Joe Manchin, Bill Cassidy, and James Risch, doing so would ensure responsible mining and sourcing, which would strengthen America‘s important mineral supply chains. The letter comes just two weeks after President Biden said that the United States is looking to increase domestic mining of rare earth minerals.
As shown in a copy of the letter, “in order to address the threats to our national security, we respectfully request that you invoke the Defense Production Act to speed up domestic manufacturing of lithium-ion battery materials, in particular nickel, graphite, cobalt, manganese, and lithium. As China dominates both lithium and cobalt processing, our reliance on lithium and cobalt from foreign sources is increasing.”
Murkowski’s spokesperson, Karina Borger, confirmed that the letter was submitted to the White House. Letters left at the offices of other senators were not promptly returned.
According to the US Geological Survey, China accounted for 78 percent of imports of rare earth compounds and metals into the United States between 2017 and 2020. The Demand for responsible mining and ethical sources of rare earths is gaining traction among Washington legislators, as the mining sector cites deteriorating working conditions, child labor, corruption, and other issues in several mining jurisdictions across the world.