Column: U.S. uses Cold War powers to secure battery metals supply – by Andy Home (Reuters – April 7, 2022)

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate the build-out of a domestic battery materials supply chain.

A measure first used by President Truman to boost U.S. steel production in the Korean War will now be tailored to future energy transition metals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.

The White House’s March 31 announcement was light on details, specifically the amount of government funding available, and the initial impact is likely to be incremental rather than revolutionary.

Investment in greenfield capacity will be dependent on a planned overhaul of the country’s gold rush-era mining laws, the underlying cause of much of the environmental resistance to new mines. But it’s still a clear statement of intent and one that reinforces industrial metals’ growing strategic importance in a fast-changing world.

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