“would force defense contractors to stop buying rare earths from China by 2026 and use the Pentagon to create a permanent stockpile of the strategic minerals.”
People have been discussing this problem for eons. Its about time Congress gave it some attention.
RRE as a problem was ignored as long as possible to strategically use China’s supply first.
Rare earths are not really rare and can be mined multiple places. However, only China has the technology to refine the mine concentrates to pure elements. Legislation implies this refining technology must be installed elsewhere.
Also recycling rare earths is a logical next step. We don’t hear much about it.
Excluding China does require users to pay a premium to keep other producers in business in spite of low prices available in China. You wouldn’t be surprised to see smuggling and development of a black market.