However disconcerting the situation, it could serve as the final push that Washington needs to resolve the enduring issue of how the United States is increasingly becoming more reliant on foreign imported minerals and metals.
It may seem unclear however, these minerals and metals serve as the building blocks for all things, ranging from electric motors to medical supplies. The Commerce Dept. has only recently cautioned as to how the U.S. has made itself increasingly reliant on foreign supplies on 31 out of a total of 35 minerals and metals termed by the Dept. of Interior as critical. Moreover, some of the minerals which the department has termed as critical are only obtainable in foreign countries.
Our daily life utilizes numerous of these minerals. Minerals such as gold, graphite, tin oxide, copper, etc. are contained in a typical smartphone. Molybdenum and copper are utilized in wind turbines. Gold and silver are essential for solar panels. And electronic automobiles use zinc, cobalt and lithium.
Luckily, the U.S. does not need to depend on other foreign countries, as it contains its own mineral reserves.
Relative to competitors in Kazakhstan, China, Turkey, and numerous other nations, the mining sector in the U.S. employs, under more severe regulation, more environmentally friendly practices.
China also employs careless environmental methods, manipulation in the market, and grants for state-influenced firms. The New York Times reported, in the year 2010, how Beijing considered its market control as a weapon when it stopped its rare earth mineral export to Japan. The World Trade Organization has stated how China prioritizes its state-owned producers over other nation including the U.S. when it came to export of mineral goods.
What complicates the situation is how a United States mining operation must now wait for nearly 7 to 10 years in order to obtain the necessary permits for its new launches.