Marco Rubio Wants to Develop Rare Earth Metallurgy Manufacturing Facilities in the U.S.
By Kevin Derby
Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., brought out a bill that “would incentivize the development of rare earth metallurgy manufacturing facilities in the United States by creating a financial investment program within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).”
Rubio introduced the “Obtaining National and Secure Homeland Operations for Rare Earth (ONSHORE) Manufacturing Act” with U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., as a co-sponsor.
“The United States is dangerously dependent on China’s rare-earth manufacturing industry,” Rubio said. “Rare earths are used in everything from batteries to advanced weapons systems. Relying on a hostile regime in Beijing for these critical products poses a serious national and economic security problem. We need to take immediate action to onshore these operations.”
“The United States must rebuild its rare earth capacity or face worse economic and national security risks,” Hyde-Smith said. “China’s growing confrontational stance toward the United States, combined with the disruptions to our economy from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, should serve as a stark wakeup call. The ONSHORE Manufacturing Act would help set a foundation for proactively doing what we must to protect our nation and its long-term interests.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, is championing the bill in the U.S. House.
“In no way should the United States be reliant on China or other adversaries for products we can produce domestically,” Gonzales said. “We have the capabilities in my district specifically to develop rare earth elements and products. It’s unacceptable that we are relying on China for an industry that can be developed in our own backyard.”