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ICYMI: Rubio: China’s Export Controls Poke Holes in Biden’s Industrial Policy

Jul 19, 2023 | Press Releases

President Biden Is Failing to Secure Our Critical Supply Chains
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
July 19, 2023
National Interest

Last year,…President Joe Biden proclaimed, “The future of the chip industry is going to be made in America”…. Ten months later, just before Independence Day, the Chinese Communist Party struck back against U.S. industrial policy by announcing new export controls on gallium and germanium….

So much for that speech on the construction lot. When President Biden bragged about America’s economic future, it seems he forgot our greatest economic vulnerability: our supply chains’ deep dependence on a regime that wants to weaken and ultimately overtake the United States….

[T]he Biden team assumed government subsidies and export controls on advanced technology would vault U.S. industry to the top…. But…Beijing’s controls on gallium and germanium show the Chinese Communist Party still wields lots of leverage…. At this moment, China controls 63 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals and 85 percent of its mineral processing capacity. If Beijing cut us off,…we would be at China’s mercy….

The same dynamic plagues the Biden administration’s “green transition” investments…. [B]ecause the IRA simply seeks to expand solar power in the United States without addressing Beijing’s grip on global solar panel supply chains, it is actively strengthening that grip, sending obscene quantities of cash to Chinese companies….

If we aren’t careful, [these missteps] will destroy people’s faith in our ability to rebuild and reindustrialize our economy. That would be tragic because…if we fail [to do so], the consequences for our national security will be dire. After all, gallium and germanium aren’t just essential to semiconductor manufacturing—they are also key components in weapon systems…. 

What’s more, export controls on a handful of critical minerals barely scratch the surface of China’s economic leverage. Imagine the havoc Beijing could wreak by depriving America of pharmaceutical ingredients or the $100 billion’s worth of electrical machinery we import every year….

[T]he Biden administration must move beyond end product-focused projects and begin securing critical supply chains from start to finish. Undeniably, this will be more difficult than throwing money at companies compromised by China. Nevertheless, it is what the American people need and deserve….

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