Why Now?

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in the global supply chain for critical goods and minerals, which are used to produce semiconductors and other critical technologies.

  • Rare-earth elements are essential to produce many high-tech devices—cell phones, computer hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, and flat-screen monitors and televisions—as well as components of defense systems.
  • As China began to dominate the global market and to limit exports for rare-earth elements in the early 2000s, the United States and other countries have sought to increase their own domestic mining and refining capabilities. Currently, there is only one active rare-earth mine in the United States.
  • The U.S. must pursue multiple and geographically diverse supply options to create a secure supply chain for critical minerals.
See the latest from Purdue on Rare Earth Elements
America’s future technological innovation increasingly will be dependent upon reliable access to secure supplies of certain key minerals and other strategic materials.
Ambassador J. Peter Pham Senior Advisor