U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order declaring a national emergency in the mining industry, a move that seeks to curb the country’s reliance on rare earths in his latest bid to end China’s control of the market.
The directive, issued late Wednesday night, asks the Interior Department to explore using the 70-year-old Defense Production Act to speed up mines development.
It also calls for a report evaluating possible measures such as tariffs, quotas or other trade restrictions targeting China and “other non-market foreign adversaries.”
Critical minerals have been a focus of the Trump administration. The White House has signed agreements with Canada and Australia, among other nations, to secure supply of minerals needed for a range of modern life’s aspects, including electric vehicles (EVs), green technologies and military applications.
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