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Hickenlooper, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Protect American Critical Mineral Projects Abroad

Mar 19, 2024

Bipartisan bill will strengthen our energy future by improving information sharing so American companies working on critical mineral projects overseas can stay secure

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper joined U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Enhancing Public-Private Sharing on Manipulate Adversary Practices in Critical Minerals Projects Act. The bill would direct the Intelligence Community (IC) to develop a strategy for improving information sharing with private sector companies regarding foreign adversaries’ attempts to thwart U.S. involvement in critical minerals, energy generation, and storage projects.

“Critical minerals will fuel the Clean Industrial Revolution. Keeping American critical mineral companies competitive and secure is how we’ll keep America on top,” said Hickenlooper.

The U.S. critical minerals list contains 50 minerals – including lithium, titanium, and cobalt – that are essential to our economy, infrastructure, and military capability. Critical minerals are used in smartphones, electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines. Global demand for critical minerals is on the rise as industrialized economies transition to clean energy. 

However, foreign governments, including the People’s Republic of China, are increasingly making malicious attempts to undermine American companies and their involvement in critical minerals projects. Specifically, the bill would require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to create a strategy for information sharing on foreign adversaries’ tactics and illicit activities to spread disinformation, steal intellectual property, and use other illegal efforts to undermine U.S. interests abroad as related to critical minerals.

“American companies have been working to invest in critical minerals projects in the U.S. and abroad in order to reduce our country’s dependence on China and meet the increasing demand for these minerals, which are critical for technologies across society,” said Warner. “Our foreign adversaries, in particular the PRC, are increasing malicious efforts to undermine U.S. attempts to dominate in this industry. Increasing collaboration between the IC and these companies is a strong step towards ensuring that our adversaries will not succeed in interfering with U.S. projects abroad, and instead help cultivate strong public-private partnerships that will boost U.S. businesses and interests, particularly in areas of technology critical to our national security.”

“At a time when foreign adversaries continue to undermine our national security interests, we must enhance the sharing of information in the critical mineral sector,” said Rubio. “This bipartisan and bicameral bill will enhance intelligence community efforts to share timely and critical information with the private sector on the pressing threats to American companies in the critical energy sectors.”

Earlier this year, Hickenlooper joined a bipartisan group of his Senate colleagues to introduce the Critical Minerals Security Act, a bill that directs the Department of the Interior, in collaboration with other relevant agencies, to evaluate the global supply and ownership of critical minerals, and make it easier for the U.S. to establish stable supply chains with our allies and partners.

For full text of the legislation, click HERE.


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