Taking another significant initiative, President Trump signed an Executive Order yesterday ordering the US Department of the Interior to take immediate steps to reduce American dependence on imports of critical minerals. Thanks to our incompetent Media, most of us were unaware until now how serious the problem was.
Critical Minerals are used in a variety of high-tech applications. The US Geological Survey lists 23---mostly rare---minerals as 'critical' because of their applications in sophisticated communications, computers, and other high-speed technologies. According to an Interior Department analysis released this week, the US is now 100% dependent on foreign imports for 20 of these 23 elements.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today issued a notice to the USGS to report within 60 days to determine American capacity for production of these substances and to suggest how they may be implemented. Some of these minerals used to be produced here like Cobalt, which is used in corrosion-resistant alloys. We are also 100% dependent on Lithium, used extensively in batteries and also medicinally. Graphite, another 100% import, is essential for steel production and is used industrially to manufacture lubricants. Automotive braking systems use graphite as well.
China is the major exporter of these minerals.
Trump's move was applauded universally across national mining, engineering, and investment sectors. Andrew Cosgrove, Bloomberg's Senior Mining and Energy Analyst said "This initiative will open up new avenues of growth. Companies reliant on these minerals will be less like to outsource or seek investment in foreign properties."
Most importantly from the national interest standpoint, critical mineral independence will prevent severe disruptions that could result from national emergencies like war or terrorist attacks. It will also strengthen innovation by keeping Research and Development closer to home.
Klaus Schultz, who prepared the USGS Report, announced too that the report contains forecasts of future requirements which can be updated as technology or production needs change. This will ensure that the US faces no critical shortages in the future.
Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources said: "A country blessed with abundant natural resources shouldn't be mineral-dependent and vulnerable. This move addresses an economic and security threat that has festered across Administrations for far too long. I look forward to continuing work with the Trump Administration to reverse this disturbing trend."
Bishop is absolutely right. It is yet another failing of the Deep State that so vital an issue was ignored and denied for so long.