Fitzpatrick’s bill brings rare-earth elements production stateside

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) on June 13 sponsored a bipartisan bill that would reduce America’s reliance on the Chinese Communist Party for rare-earth elements by enhancing such reserves at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

“We cannot let the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] continue to benefit from supplying our country with necessary rare-earth materials,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “By creating reserves controlled by the Department of Defense, we will decrease our reliance on the CCP for these resources and will allow the United States to resume its rightful position as a leader in rare-earth elements production.”

The congressman introduced the Restoring Essential Energy and Security Holdings Onshore for Rare Earths (REEShore) Act of 2022, H.R. 8032, with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) to encourage the extraction and processing of rare-earth metals in the United States, according to the congressional record bill summary.

H.R. 8032 — which is the companion bill to the same-named S. 3530, introduced on Jan. 20 by U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) — also would call for the investigation of the CCP’s unfair trade practices through both the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Commerce Department, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office.

Additionally, the measure would require DOD contractors to disclose the origin country of rare-earth materials used by the U.S. military, the summary says.

“Rare-earth elements are critical to America’s military, our technology sector, and our infrastructure needs. At any time, China could cut off their supply of these materials to the U.S., as they’ve already threatened to in the past,” said Rep. Gottheimer. “This new bipartisan legislation is an opportunity to stick it to China, work with our allies, and move toward American REE independence — all while boosting our strategic competition and eliminating our reliance on adversaries.”