The Defense Production Act Won’t Bring Us Supply-Chain Security: News: The Independent Institute


Emphasizing the importance of rare earth metals and minerals to America’s national security and economic well-being, two prominent members of Congress—Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.), the committee’s ranking Republican—have urged President Biden to ramp up domestic mining operations immediately by invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA).

Title III of that 1950 law was dusted off by President Trump to jumpstart the production of ventilators for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. President Biden issued executive orders in February 2021 authorizing the act’s taxpayer-financed incentives—loans, loan guarantees, direct purchases and purchase commitments—to ensure that the U.S. economy has sufficient capacity to produce “critical items” like vaccines and personal protective equipment.

More than two years into the federal government’s demonstrably ineffective and…

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