This week, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., brought out the “Taliban Rare Earth Minerals Sanctions Act,” a bill which would “impose sanctions on persons engaging in transactions in Afghanistan‘s rare earth minerals.”
Steube introduced the bill on Tuesday and explained why he thought it was needed.
“The Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has given the Taliban control of one of the largest deposits of rare earth minerals in the world, which jeopardizes our national security,” Steube said. “Banning the Taliban and China from profiting off of rare earth minerals is commonsense.”
“The Taliban’s control of these minerals likely now makes them the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world. This legislation puts in place a sectoral approach to facilitate the ability to quickly sanction entities involved in sourcing Afghan rare earth minerals. Such an approach would cut off Communist Chinese firms operating in Afghan rare earth minerals from accessing U.S. markets and the U.S. financial system,” the congressman’s office noted.
Steube reeled in 10 co-sponsors including U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs and the Judiciary Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.