Trump Issues Executive Order to Support American Mining

Last week, President Trump issued an executive order designed to support the American mining industry and support the processing of these minerals in the United States. The administration released the following fact sheet:

SECURING SUPPLY CHAINS: President Donald J. Trump is taking further action to ensure that our economic prosperity and national security do not depend on imports from our adversaries.

  • Today, President Trump is signing an Executive Order and declaring a National Emergency to expand the domestic mining industry, support mining jobs, alleviate unnecessary permitting delays, and reduce our Nation’s dependence on China for critical minerals.
  • The Order begins the process for the Department of the Interior to develop a program to use its authorities under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to fund mineral processing that protects our national security.
  • The action will cut down on unnecessary delays in permitting actions, providing Americans opportunities for jobs and improving economic and national security.
  • Through this Order, Federal agencies will use their authorities to investigate and work to decrease our Nation’s reliance on minerals imports.
  • The President will continue to protect our domestic supply chains for critical minerals from predatory Chinese action.
RESTORING THE AMERICAN MINING INDUSTRY: President Trump’s action will accelerate the reopening and expansion of our mines and processing plants.
  • Over the last several decades, our Nation’s mining industry has suffered due to political inaction, a broken permitting process, and predatory foreign competition from China.
  • The United States is heavily reliant on imports of numerous critical minerals that are critical to America’s national security and economic prosperity, despite the presence of significant sources of some of these minerals across the United States.
  • During his first year in office, President Trump took action to implement a Federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals.
  • In 2019, President Trump signed five Presidential Determinations finding that domestic production of rare earth elements and materials is essential to the national defense.
  • Through this new Order, more funding will be available to help mining projects, thereby strengthening our economy and improving our national security.
ACCELERATING THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY: The action builds on President Trump’s commitment to restore and strengthen our economy as we continue to recover.
  • Through this Executive Order, the President is once again taking decisive action to put Americans back to work and restore economic growth.
  • The Trump Administration has already worked to reform burdensome and outdated bureaucratic processes that prevent vital infrastructure projects from moving forward.
  • President Trump placed a pause on new immigrant visas through the end of the year to ensure that we continue putting American workers first during our ongoing coronavirus recovery.
  • The President signed an Executive Order to increase American production of essential medical supplies and cut down our reliance on foreign producers of medicines.
  • The Trump Administration has leveraged the DPA dozens of times to support production of critical medical equipment by American companies and protect American workers.

The Trump Administration’s emphasis on increasing American’s mineral processing capabilities is one of the most important aspects of the order. Currently, many of the products that are mined in the United States are shipped to other countries for processing.

Our country can reap far greater benefits from the mining industry if we encourage value-added businesses to spring up in areas where mining is conducted.  Processing minerals in Minnesota, for example, would greatly increase the economic impact of mining our state’s world-class copper, nickel, cobalt, and titanium resources, supporting more jobs and economic activity on The Range.

This executive order doesn’t set anything in stone, but it does signal that the Trump administration understands the importance of mining and is supportive of the industry. On the other hand, mining has become increasingly politicized in Minnesota, with the DFL state party formally adopting a resolution supporting a moratorium on copper-nickel mining in the state. Moderate, pro-mining candidates are increasingly unwelcome in a party that is moving further toward supporting the policies embraced by far-left urban liberals.