Washington — The Canadian Chamber of Commerce wants federal leaders to take serious steps to make important minerals a fundamental part of North America’s economic recovery.
The Chamber of Commerce says Canada is missing out on a “major opportunity” to become the world’s largest producer of minerals and rare earth elements that power everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles.
He also states that key minerals must be at the core of a successful strategy to move to a low-carbon economy and mitigate the effects of climate change.
But so far, Canada’s federal election campaign lacks serious debate about utilizing its abundant reserves of important minerals and rare earth metals.
The Chamber of Commerce wants to see detailed plans to expand domestic production, strengthen its supply chain, and partner with the United States, where demand is already booming.
China is the world’s largest producer of rare earths, accounting for more than 60% of the world’s annual production, well above the United States, Myanmar, Australia and India. Canada, on the other hand, has an estimated 15 million tonnes of undeveloped rare earth oxides.
“Canada has an urgent need for trade and economic strategies for our own significant deposits,” the Chamber of Commerce warns in a statement released Thursday. “Failing to prepare is to prepare to fail.”
In 2019, the US Department of State and the Bureau of Energy Resources established a multilateral initiative aimed at ensuring a reliable supply chain for important minerals. Canada signed and established a so-called joint action plan with the United States in early 2020.
Officials from both countries met virtually last June as part of an important mineral working group to advance discussions on the plan. Ottawa claimed as evidence of its serious commitment to attracting investment to make metals a central component of Canada’s natural resources industry.
In February of this year, a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden “broke a new bilateral relationship, including a vow to make Canada and the United States a” global leader in all aspects of battery development and production. ” “Roadmap” has been created.
But since then, the United States’ commitment to the plan has been, especially given Biden’s harsh rhetoric for the protected trade-oriented “by-American” doctrine and the apparent disconnection for non-essential travel across the Canadian-US border. It has been questioned.
Canadians are almost forbidden to cross the border for discretionary purposes until at least September 21, even though fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents are allowed to travel north for almost a month. increase.
Biden also promises to put a strict cap on the exemption of Bi-American, a rhetoric that worries Canadian suppliers and contractors fearing a chilling effect on their ability to trade with state and local governments south of the border. Did.
Canada is already a major source of 13 of the 35 minerals that the United States has identified as important for economic and national security. Canada is the United States’ largest single supplier of Potash, Indium, Aluminum and Tellurium, and Niobium’s second largest source. Tungsten and magnesium.
But it has to do more, says the Chamber of Commerce:
- Stimulate domestic industry through government procurement contracts.
- Set up group purchasing and stockpiling contracts with the largest and most important trading partners.
- Create targeted tax and regulatory incentives to help you get started quickly with your extraction project.
“The importance of strengthening our reliable, sustainable and important mineral supply chain and reducing our dependence on China is increasing in both Canada and the United States,” says the Chamber of Commerce.
“Building domestic production capacity strengthens both cross-border supply chains and national security, and reduces the vulnerability of supply shortages in times of crisis such as COVID-19. increase.”