As trade disputes between China and the US continue to escalate, US President Donald Trump has decided to target rare-earth minerals, of which 80% of the US’ are imported from the communist country. On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order announcing a national emergency in the mining industry. The executive order will focus on rapidly expanding America’s production of rare-earth minerals, many of which are essential across a variety of domestic manufacturing sectors.
The order will direct the Interior Department to initiate domestic mineral exploration and mine development via the Defense Production Act. The emergency law is nothing new for the President, who previously utilized it to expedite the production of medical supplies during the onset of the pandemic. This latest bid however is focused on terminating US dependence on Chinese rare mineral imports, and ultimately putting an end to China’s dominance in the industry.