Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

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US Critical Mineral Policies and Alliance Strategies in an Age of Geopolitical Rivalry

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Abstract:  We examine the geoeconomic strategies of the US regarding critical minerals through the lens of geopolitical rivalry with China. Chinese companies, mostly state-owned enterprises, play a prominent role in the extraction and processing of minerals critical to the energy transition. Drawing on the balance of power theory, we argue that the US, the incumbent hegemon, can employ both domestic policies and alliance-building strategies to counterbalance China’s dominance in critical mineral sectors. Empirically, we first assess the nature of US domestic policies with respect to promoting domestic critical mineral production and restricting foreign investment in the extractive sectors through investment screening measures, and then assess the degree to which the US has relied on Five Eyes alliance partners to achieve common strategic goals. We find evidence that the US uses a multifaceted geoeconomic approach involving domestic policies and alliance strategies to counterbalance China’s dominant position in critical mineral supply chains.

Keywords:  China–US rivalry; critical minerals; Five Eyes; geoeconomics; state‐owned enterprises

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.8186


© Anastasia Ufimtseva, Jing Li, Daniel M. Shapiro. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.