by Stacy Tatman, Government Relations Manager, NEMA
The Federal government is monitoring potential threats to the security of our nation’s critical minerals supply chain, and with that vulnerability comes a rare opportunity for NEMA and its Members.
Rare earth elements (REEs) are 17 minerals found in low concentrations around the world. Because of their unique properties, REEs are increasingly used by manufacturers for advanced electronics. Despite this increased demand, there are only a few suppliers,
which creates an inherent liability in manufacturers’ supply chains.
The Federal government has enacted policies designed to assess reliance on foreign supplies of REEs and to restrict acquisition from potentially adversarial nations.1 For example, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has implemented regulations
prohibiting procurement of REEs from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.2 China produces approximately 80 percent of the global supply of REEs.3
These circumstances prompted NEMA to explore the potential for a new program called NEMA Select, which would enable NEMA and its Members to influence and take advantage of emerging REE policies. It would provide a new service connecting manufacturers
and end users through improved supply chain management and transparency.
NEMA Select would establish a multi-tier verification program helping manufacturers and suppliers identify products that are either free of REEs or are appropriately sourced, while providing a way for end users such as government agencies to easily identify
products that meet their needs.
Benefits for NEMA Members and other program participants include access to emerging markets and increased profitability. Benefits for end users include increased supply chain sustainability and the reduction of the acquisition of non-compliant products.
If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact Stacy Tatman, Government Relations Manager, at Stacy.Tatman@nema.org,
or Kirk Anderson, Industry Director, at Kirk.Anderson@nema.org. ei
1 Federal Strategy To Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals, Executive Order 13817, December 20, 2017
2 Prohibition on acquisition of sensitive materials from non-allied foreign nations, 10 USC 2533c
3 “Rare Earths Statistics and Information,”
National Minerals Information Center