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Trump Moves to Expand Rare Earths Mining, Cites China Threat

  • Directs Interior Department to explore Defense Production Act
  • Order was signed on the way to a campaign stop in Minnesota
Inside The Mountain Pass Mine As Rare Earths Face Trade War Threats
Photographer: Joe Buglewicz/Bloomberg
Updated on

President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at expanding domestic production of rare-earth minerals that are vital to many critical manufacturing sectors, in an effort to reduce dependence on China.

The order, which declares a national emergency in the mining industry, directs the Interior Department to explore using the Defense Production Act to hasten the development of mines. The administration has previously used the law to accelerate production of medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.