by E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow Greg Walcher
As appearing in The Daily Sentinel
The Trump Administration’s crackdown on imports from China, intended to address a $420 billion trade deficit, may produce some unintended consequences. It was just revealed, for example, that the higher tariffs on Chinese goods might end the availability of free Bibles (nearly 100 percent of which are now printed in China) for prisons, schools, military bases, hospitals, and hotels. Organizations like the Gideon’s are working with the Administration to amend the list of more than 500 products affected by the new tariffs.
At least one consequence, though, is very much intended. In fact, it is among the primary reasons the administration decided something had to be done. Namely, the dangerous dependence on China for minerals that are critical to America’s economy and security.
Last year the president ordered a list of “critical minerals,” defined as non-fuel minerals “essential to the economic and national security of the United States, the supply chain of which is vulnerable to disruption,” and that are used in manufacturing products upon which our economy and security depend. The executive order called for a new strategy to reduce American reliance on imports of critical minerals, and to increase domestic production.