US and EU to Join Forces on Critical Minerals Supply Chains

by | 12. Feb 2024 - 10:10 | Politics

Could merge efforts under the Minerals Security Partnership and the Critical Raw Materials Act.

United States and European Union representatives are in talks to join forces in their attempts to diversify critical minerals supply chains away from industry leader China, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the discussions. In detail, the discussions could lead to a merging of U.S. efforts under the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) with European efforts under the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA). Core to this collaboration is the push to work with resource-rich nations and develop standards on investment, trade, research, and environmental issues, Bloomberg adds.

The EU is already cooperating with the U.S. under the MSP, which seeks to diversify critical minerals supply chains and make them more sustainable by connecting resource-rich nations with member states and directing investments into developing promising projects. This is mirrored by European efforts under the CRMA, which, beyond seeking more European mining and expanding recycling measures, also aims to establish a Critical Raw Materials Club for “all like-minded countries willing to strengthen global supply chains.” Unlike the MSP, which has operated since 2022, the CRMA is still pending final official approval by the Union’s political institutions. After clearing another hurdle in a long-stretching legislative process in December, the CRMA is on the final straight and is expected to be adopted in late March.

The new initiative, known broadly as a “minerals security partnership forum,” would combine these two approaches.

Despite a potential collaboration emerging on supply chains, separate talks on a bilateral critical minerals agreement have not reached a successful conclusion so far. Following a fruitless meeting in Washington in January, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis vowed to press on, however. The next meeting is scheduled for April in Belgium.

Photo: iStock/SurkovDimitri

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