July 18, 2024


Law, This Is It!

Time for Resilient Critical Material Supply Chain Policies

2 min read

The ongoing coronavirus illness 2019 pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine emphasize the vulnerabilities of supply chains that absence diversity and are dependent on foreign inputs. This report presents a limited, exploratory assessment summarizing the state of significant components — products vital to economic and national security — using two situation research and insurance policies obtainable to the U.S. Division of Protection (DoD) to boost the resilience of its source chains in the face of disruption.

China is the greatest producer and processor of scarce earth oxides (REOs) throughout the world and a vital producer of lithium-ion battery (LIB) supplies and elements. China’s industry share of REO extraction has lessened, but it nevertheless has massive affect above the downstream supply chain–processing and magnet producing. Chinese market share of the LIB source chain mirrors REO provide bottlenecks. If it sought after, China could properly minimize off 40 to 50 % of global REO offer, influencing U.S. producers and suppliers of DoD units and platforms.

Though a deliberate disruption is not likely, resilience versus source disruption and constructing domestic competitiveness are important. The authors talk about plausible REO disruption situations and their dangers and synthesize insights from a “Day Soon after . . .” training and structured interviews with stakeholders to identify accessible plan selections for DoD and the U.S. government to avoid or mitigate the results of source disruptions on the protection industrial foundation (DIB) and broader U.S. overall economy. They investigate these policies’ applicability to an additional important product source chain — LIB materials — and make tips for policy aims.

This analysis was sponsored by the Workplace of Secretary of Defense and executed in just the Acquisition and Know-how Policy Middle of the RAND National Security Exploration Division (NSRD).

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