Texas Business Daily
By: April Bamburg
May 15, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced May 13 the Onshoring Rare Earths Act of 2020, or ORE Act, meant to end U.S. dependence on China for rare-earth elements and other critical minerals used to manufacture defense technologies and high-tech products by establishing a supply chain for these minerals in the U.S. The act also will require the U.S. Department of Defense to source minerals domestically.
The Empowerment Alliance supports this legislation and issued a statement May 14.
“Sen. Cruz’s legislation to reduce America’s dependence on China’s rare-earth metals is an absolute necessity for our long term national and economic security. If we continue to depend on Chinese imported metals for energy, defense, and technology, we will find ourselves at the mercy of China’s communist government,” said Ian Prior, spokesman for The Empowerment Alliance. “As we have seen with America’s natural gas revolution, investing in the development of domestic resources reduces our dependence of foreign actors and increases our national security as a result. We applaud Sen. Cruz and implore the rest of the Senate to back this measure.”
In announcing the act, Cruz noted that dependence on other countries to access rare-earth elements that are mined, refined and manufactured exclusively in China is dangerous for the nation, particularly in creating defense technologies and supporting the military.
“Much like the Chinese Communist Party has threatened to cut off the U.S. from life-saving medicines made in China, the Chinese Communist Party could also cut off our access to these materials, significantly threatening U.S. national security,” the senator said. “The ORE Act will help ensure China never has that opportunity by establishing a rare-earth elements and critical minerals supply chain in the U.S.”
The ORE Act provides tax incentives for the rare-earths industry, including expanding and making permanent full-expensing provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It requires the Department of Defense to source rare-earth minerals and critical elements from the U.S and establishes grants for pilot programs to develop these materials in the U.S.