US Admits It Can’t Remove China from Supply Chain of Critical Metals

A top official in the Biden administration has revealed that the United States cannot eliminate China from its critical metals supply chain. With the U.S. keen on cutting its carbon emissions by transitioning to zero-emission electric vehicles, the country needs massive amounts of critical metals to build electric vehicle batteries, stationary power storage and renewable energy infrastructure such as solar panels.

Critical minerals are also key to the development of everything from consumer electronics to defense systems, making these minerals critical to America’s economy and national security. However, China plays a key role in the global critical metals supply chain and controls around 85% of the world’s processing capacity and 60% of global critical metal production.

As competition and tensions between China and the U.S. increase, many officials in the Biden administration are displeased about the country’s reliance on China for critical metals.

A recent decision by Beijing to restrict the export of rare earth minerals germanium and gallium, which have major applications in U.S. defense systems, highlighted that the U.S. was in a very precarious position. This has led to calls for the development of a local critical metals supply chain and partnerships with alternative suppliers as the country ramps up its climate change efforts.

However, U.S. Undersecretary for Economic Growth and the Environment Jose Fernandez said the main goal is to diversify America’s critical mineral sources, not eliminate China from its supply chain entirely. The East Asian nation will remain a key partner to the United States because of its overwhelming presence in the critical mineral processing segment, Fernandez said, especially as these minerals are critical to the manufacture of electric vehicles.

Like many Western nations, the U.S. has pledged to replace the millions of fossil-fuel-powered cars on its roads with zero-emission electric cars as part of its long-term carbon-neutrality plan. As transportation accounts for nearly 30% of total carbon emissions in the U.S., electrifying the nation’s fleet is an integral part of the country’s climate-change policy and will require partnerships with nations such as China, which have essentially perfected mining and processing critical minerals.

Fernandez said that the world will need China in the fight against climate change and noted that we won’t be able to solve the global climate crisis without China’s involvement.

It took China massive government subsidies, loose environmental standards and decades of strategy to achieve its critical metal monopoly. The U.S. will most likely be unable to build up sufficient domestic critical metal production in line with its climate-change goals. However, companies such as Canada Nickel Company Inc. (TSX.V: CNC) (OTCQX: CNIKF) are providing alternative sources of critical metals on the North American continent so that the West can access these without having to source everything from China.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Canada Nickel Company Inc. (TSX.V: CNC) (OTCQX: CNIKF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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