Team Biden Announces New ‘Strike Force’ Against Foreign Economic Competitors
June 8, 2021 (EIRNS)—Along with the release today of the 250-page report, “Building U.S. Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-Based Growth,” with the conclusions of the review of U.S. supply-chain vulnerabilities ordered by President Joe Biden 100 days before, came the announcement that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will lead a new “strike force” against foreign competitors. Its mandate is the same old geopolitical trade war hogwash: “To propose unilateral and multilateral enforcement actions against unfair foreign trade practices that have eroded critical supply chains,” while using trade agreements “to strengthen collective approaches to supply chain resilience with U.S. partners and allies.”
Its primary target is China. The White House Fact Sheet on the report’s conclusions states that “supply chain resilience should be incorporated into the U.S. trade policy approach towards China, including in the ongoing review of U.S.-China trade policy.”
This targeting especially applies in the area of critical minerals and materials, of which lithium is a big concern because of all the batteries the Biden team wants made for their Green electric-cars-only schemes. “China, using state-led, non-market interventions, captured large portions of value chains in several critical minerals and materials necessary for national and economic security,” the Fact Sheet complains. Therefore, “the United States must work with allies and partners to diversify supply chains away from adversarial nations and sources with unacceptable environmental and labor standards.”
The same Fact Sheet reveals, however, that the Department of Defense has been given a mandate to engage in the same “state-led, non-market intervention” of which “adversarial nation” China is so rudely accused: The DOD will now be “investing in the expansion of the largest rare earth element mining and processing company outside of China to provide the raw materials necessary to help combat the climate crisis,” while deploying Defense Production Act Title III incentives, such as grants, loans, loan guarantees, and offtake agreements to foster R&D concepts and emerging technologies.
Otherwise, China is being held guilty for the utter failure of the United States and its trans-Atlantic allies to invest in their own technological development, such that “China accounts for an outsized share of the world’s refining capacity, meaning that even if the United States were to diversify our sources of critical minerals or increase domestic extraction, we would still be reliant on China for processing before use in end-product manufacturing.”