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Newhouse Backs Sanctions on Afghan Rare Earth Mineral Transactions

September 29, 2021
Press Release
Prevents Taliban From Profiting Off Rare Earth Minerals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced H.R. 5404, the Taliban Rare Earth Minerals Sanctions Act with 10 of his Republican colleagues. The legislation seeks to impose sanctions on foreign persons or entities sourcing rare earth minerals in Afghanistan. After the Biden Administration’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent takeover by the Taliban, the United States must ensure that we are not further enabling our adversaries.

“Since the Biden Administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban now has control over one of the largest deposits of rare earth minerals in the world, giving it the opportunity to become one of the wealthiest terrorist organizations in the world,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Hostile regimes that threaten U.S. national security or our allies must be put on notice that there will always be a heavy price to pay. In light of the threat posed by the Taliban, Congress should exercise its authority to ensure that sanctions are implemented against its regime.”

Click here to read the full text of the bill.

Background:

  • Congress can create new mandatory secondary sectoral sanctions to penalize foreign persons developing or investing in any rare earth minerals in areas of Afghanistan under Taliban control.
  • Putting in place a sectoral approach (reaching all entities involved in the sector) facilitates the ability to quickly sanction entities (such as Chinese firms) involved in sourcing Afghan rare earth minerals.
  • Such an approach would cut off Chinese firms operating in Afghan rare earth minerals from access to U.S. markets and the U.S. financial system.

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