Bipartisan lawmakers plan bill against mineral dependency

By Hannah Northey | 06/20/2024 06:28 AM EDT

The House committee focused on competition with China is behind the effort.

Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.).

Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) during a hearing in February of the House's select committee on China. Alex Brandon/AP

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party is launching a bipartisan working group to craft legislation aimed at countering China’s dominance over critical minerals like cobalt, lithium and nickel.

Chair John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) and ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) announced the formation of the critical minerals policy working group on Tuesday to counter China’s control on raw materials used to make everything from semiconductors to wind turbines and EV batteries.

Republican Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia and Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida will lead the working group. Other members will include Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and Ben Cline (R-Va.).


Moolenaar in a statement highlighted the importance of critical minerals to consumer goods and military equipment, and warned that U.S. reliance on China for those raw materials is poised to quickly become “an existential vulnerability in the event of a conflict.”