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President Biden Invokes Defense Production Act to Ensure Reliable Supply of Critical Materials

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President Biden has issued a presidential determination to strengthen domestic production of critical materials used in manufacturing clean energy technologies and reduce dependence on foreign sources.

The determination released in accordance with Section 303 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 will direct the secretary of defense to support feasibility studies for beneficiation, mining and value-added processing to help expand and protect domestic capabilities for the production of lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese, nickel and other materials, the White House said Thursday.

The executive branch will also require the head of the Department of Defense to carry out a survey of the domestic industrial base for the mining and beneficiation of critical materials used in producing large-capacity batteries for automotive, stationary storage and e-mobility sectors. 

The DOD secretary should also submit to the president and Congress an annual report detailing the results of the survey.

In early 2020, the previous administration invoked the Defense Production Act to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the defense industrial base.