China’s dominance of the green energy supply chain means the Biden administration’s push to transition to electric vehicles could benefit Beijing and “imperil” U.S. national security, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said Monday.
In his annual letter to shareholders, Dimon stressed the need to counter China through an “industrial policy” that eases China’s grip on the rare earth minerals required to build electric vehicles and other forms of green energy. Without such a policy, Dimon warned, China “could eventually imperil national security” by “using subsidies and its economic muscle to dominate batteries, rare earths, semiconductors, or [electric vehicles].” “We cannot cede these important resources and capabilities to another country,” he wrote.
Dimon’s warning comes just days after President Joe Biden’s interior secretary, former Democratic congresswoman Deb Haaland, agreed that a transition to electric vehicles increases America’s reliance on China. The communist nation, Pennsylvania Republican congressman Guy Reschenthaler noted during a March 28 House Appropriations Committee hearing, controls the majority of the world’s “rare earth elements” used to produce electric vehicle batteries. “By deductive reasoning, that would mean that electric vehicles and renewables deepen our reliance on China, correct?” Reschenthaler asked. “Yes,” responded Haaland, who testified at the hearing.
Reschenthaler used Haaland’s acknowledgment to argue that the United States should be moving to greenlight domestic mining projects that combat China by producing electric vehicle minerals. In many cases, however, the Biden administration has moved to kill those projects. In January, for example, Haaland issued a 20-year mining ban in a Minnesota area that holds 95 percent of the nation’s nickel reserves and 88 percent of its cobalt, two minerals that are crucial parts of the green energy supply chain.
The Biden administration’s hostility toward domestic mining projects is at odds with Biden’s campaign rhetoric. The Democrat in October 2020 assured American miners he would support domestic mines, a promise that brought support from the National Mining Association. But years later, Biden has moved to fund foreign mines instead. In November, the White House announced a $30 million investment in a Brazilian nickel and cobalt mine. Months later, Biden’s State Department said it was considering using taxpayer funds to support “around a dozen” mining projects in foreign countries. That announcement angered Republicans, with Minnesota congressman Pete Stauber hammering Biden for “choosing foreign workers over American workers.”
“It’s abundantly clear: Joe Biden wants to mine anywhere but in America, with any worker other than the American worker,” Stauber said in December.