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Department of Commerce Releases Report on Critical Minerals

The Department Sets 24 Goals to Safeguard American Access to Crucial Commodities

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce released the interagency report that was submitted to the President pursuant to Executive Order 13817, A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals. The report contains a government-wide action plan, including recommendations to advance research and development efforts, increase domestic activity across the supply chain, streamline permitting, and grow the American critical minerals workforce.

“These critical minerals are often overlooked but modern life without them would be impossible,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Through the recommendations detailed in this report, the Federal government will take unprecedented action to ensure that the United States will not be cut off from these vital materials.”

This release follows a previous report from the Department of Interior, also required by the executive order, which designated 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States, including uranium, titanium, and rare earth elements.

These critical minerals are necessary components for countless items relied on by millions of Americans, including smartphones, aircraft, computers, and GPS navigation systems, as well as green technologies such as wind turbines, energy efficient lighting, and hybrid vehicle batteries.

President Donald J. Trump issued Executive Order 13817 to reduce vulnerabilities from our nation’s reliance on foreign sources of critical minerals and on foreign supply chains. Currently, the United States is heavily dependent on imports of critical minerals, with the U.S. dependent on imports for more than 50 percent of domestic demand for 29 of the 35 minerals named in Interior’s report. In addition, the United States lacks any domestic production for 14 of the 35 minerals and does not have domestic access to processing and manufacturing capabilities for many of these minerals.

This action plan complements other initiatives of the Trump Administration, including the Department of Defense’s response to Executive Order 13806, Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States and the National Science and Technology Council’s Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing and Charting a Course for Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education.

The full report can be seen here.

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