President Joe Biden said his administration will invest $35 million in U.S. mining operations to repair broken links in our supply chain. He hopes the move will create a “reliable” supply of materials critical to making the products we rely on every day such as computers and smartphones.
Currently, the United States is dependent on other countries for its lithium, graphite, and rare earth materials, Biden said, according to CNN. We get as much as 100 percent of our supply of some of these materials from other countries such as China. The president was careful to point out that this investment was not “anti-China” but “pro-American.”
“Today we’re announcing a major investment in domestic production of key minerals and materials,” Biden said at a White House event Tuesday. “China controls most of the global market of these minerals and the fact (is) that we can’t build a future that’s made in America if we ourselves are dependent on China for the materials that power the products of today and tomorrow. And this is not anti-China or anti-anything else. It’s pro-American.”
Biden is trying to fix persistent issues within our supply chain. Stores can’t get the goods they need. And the cost of products that rely on things like computer chips is at all-time highs. Supply problems have hurt everyone, from grocery stores to the military.
“We’ve seen what happens when we become dependent on other countries for essential goods, like computer chips. Everyone’s become aware of that because the computer chips are so badly needed,” Biden said. “Why did the cost of an automobile skyrocket and become about a third of the reason for an increase in inflation? It’s because they didn’t have the computer chips.”
Biden said the $35 million investment will also create 350 jobs by 2024.
Report: Biden to Request Largest Military Budget in U.S. History
President Joe Biden is expected to request the largest military budget in American history. Sources say that he will ask Congress for more than $770 billion, $17 billion more than last year. Add-ons could push that figure to $800 billion.
The Hill said the increase comes from the Pentagon’s push to modernize the military by investing in electric vehicles and sustainable outposts. Leaders also want to prioritize building ships, expanding capabilities in space, and missile warning systems — all costly objectives. Near record-high levels of inflation and a looming threat of war in Ukraine all but guaranteed an increase also.
Donald Trump holds the current record. He requested $752.9 billion from Congress in his final year in office. Lawmakers ultimately approved a defense budget of $778 billion that year.
For perspective, $778 billion is 3.7 percent of America’s gross domestic product. The United States spends more on its military than many major countries combined. China, which is second in defense spending, dropped $252 billion on its military last year.