Without access to critical minerals, U.S. innovation would stall, and the cost of consumer electronics would surge.
The United States was 100 percent import reliant for 12 of the 50 designated critical minerals in 2022 and more than 50 percent import reliant for an additional 31. It maintains little domestic mineral mining, refining, and processing capacity. Today, the United States produces only 4 percent of the lithium, 13 percent of the cobalt, and none of the graphite required to meet current demand for electric vehicles, for example, and demand is only projected to grow as the world moves to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050.
Comparatively, China is the leading producer of 30 critical minerals, accounts for 80 percent of critical mineral processing, and controls 77 percent of the world’s electric vehicle manufacturing capacity.
The United States should cooperate with partners in Latin and South America to mitigate risk and ensure supply chain resilience.
Well yes. But first we must allay Latin American fears and rehabilitate US history of US-Latin American relations.
Teddy Roosevelt in 1903 supported a revolution in Columbia when negotiations lagged to create a new nation state; Panama.
And there were the “Banana Wars” in the 1920’s where US Marines intervened for US corporate interests in Latin America. And US support for brutal dictators in Latin American during the cold war and successful & attempted regime changes on Guatemala, Honduras, Chile Nicaragua & Venezuela. And current sanction on Venezuela & Nicaragua.
Latin American fears will be allayed by profits & cash to be made.
The question is how mining will proceed. The standard US industrial despoliation & pollution of foreign environs by bribery of host nations officials negating partially or wholly the environment benefit of EVs. Or will our nation’s government require US mining concerns to operate in an environmentally beneficial manner.