Trump calls for strategy to boost domestic mineral production

Trump calls for strategy to boost domestic mineral production
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE signed an executive order Wednesday to develop a national strategy to boost domestic production of critical minerals and reduce dependence on foreign imports of them.

The order, directed toward Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeZinke left some details off public calendar: report House completes first half of 2019 spending bills The Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington MORE, came a day after Zinke released an in-depth report concluding that the United States depends entirely or almost entirely on foreign imports for many important non-fuel minerals like titanium, fluorine, cobalt and manganese.

Some of the minerals are essential to national security needs or common commercial products.

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Trump’s order could lead to new policies to streamline or reduce barriers to mining projects for the minerals.

“This executive order will prioritize reducing the Nation’s vulnerability to disruptions in our supply of critical minerals safely and responsibility for the benefit of the American people,” Trump said in a statement. “The United States must not remain reliant on foreign competitors like Russia and China for the critical minerals needed to keep our economy strong and our country safe.”

Zinke’s strategy, due in 180 days, will outline options to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign critical minerals, assess progress toward large-scale mineral recycling and recommend ways to streamline mining permitting, among other factors.