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"Having a domestic rare earths supply chain is crucial for national security," Sen. Mike Enzi said.

JACKSON, Wyo. — U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., sent a letter urging the Trump administration to support the development of a fully domestic rare earths supply chain and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign minerals that are critical for manufacturing our defense technologies and supporting national security.

In a letter sent to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, the senators wrote:

“It is clear that our dependence on China for vital rare earths threatens our U.S. manufacturing and defense industrial base. As the October 2018 Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Report states: ‘China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security.’ […] Ensuring a U.S. supply of domestically sourced rare earths will reduce our vulnerability to supply disruptions that poses a grave risk to our military readiness.”

The letter was led by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas. It was also signed by U.S. Senators Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Martha McSally, R-Ariz.