Washington, D.C.Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) led a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin urging him to develop a plan to address the national security ramifications of Communist China’s interest and investment in seabed mining.

In the letter, the lawmakers state, “Under previous U.S. national strategies to address critical mineral supply chain risks dating back to 2019, the Department of Defense (DOD) is charged with efforts to, “stabilize and strengthen the National Defense Stockpile (NDS) Program’s ability to respond rapidly to urgent and unanticipated military and essential civilian requirements during wartime and other national emergencies.” In keeping with the DOD’s mandate to continue improving the resilience of national defense supply chains, we write today to emphasize the importance of evaluating and planning for seabed mining as a new vector of competition with China for resource superiority and security.”

“I am calling on the Biden Administration’s Department of Defense to develop a plan and engage with our allies to prevent Communist China from taking complete control of critical mineral supply chains,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “Critical minerals are essential for technology that Americans use every day and make up key components of our advanced weapons systems. We cannot allow Communist China to dominate the critical mineral supply chain.”

Stefanik and Wittman are joined by Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Jen Kiggans (R-VA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Randy Weber (R-TX), Mark Alford (R-MO), Michael Turner (R-OH), Michael Waltz (R-FL), James Moylan (R-Guam), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Brad Finstad (R-MN), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) , Pete Sessions (R-TX), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Cory Mills (R-FL), David Rouzer (R-NC), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Nicholas Langworthy (R-NY), Morgan Luttrell (R-TX), Rich McCormick (R-GA), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Keith Self (R-TX), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Brian Babin (R-TX) and Ronny Jackson (R-TX).

Find the full letter HERE.