U.S. President Joe Biden will rely on ally countries to supply the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles and focus on processing them domestically into battery parts, part of a strategy designed to placate environmentalists, two administration officials with direct knowledge told Reuters.
The plans will be a blow to U.S. miners who had hoped Biden would rely primarily on domestically sourced metals, as his campaign had signaled last autumn, to help fulfill his ambitions for a less carbon-intensive economy.
Rather than focus on permitting more U.S. mines, Biden’s team is more focused on creating jobs that process minerals domestically into electric vehicle (EV) battery parts, according to the people.
Such a plan would help cut U.S. reliance on industry leader China for EV materials while also enticing unions with manufacturing work and, in theory, reduce pandemic-fueled unemployment.
The U.S. Commerce Department is organizing a June conference to attract more EV manufacturing to the country. Biden’s proposed $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan earmarks $174 billion to boost the domestic EV market with tax credits and grants for battery manufacturers, among other incentives. The department declined to comment.
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