Washington DC, 29 March 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) and Japan have taken a significant step towards strengthening their critical minerals supply chains and promoting the adoption of electric vehicle battery technologies.

The US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai and Japan’s Ambassador to the US, Tomita Koji, today signed an agreement to this effect, in the presence of a select group of industry leaders and government officials.

The agreement between the government of Japan and the government of the US on strengthening critical minerals supply chains builds on the 2019 US-Japan Trade Agreement.

Likewise, it sets out to facilitate trade, promote fair competition, and market-oriented conditions for trade in these minerals.

Moreover, it also includes commitments to advance robust labor and environmental standards and to ensure secure, transparent, sustainable, and equitable critical minerals supply chains.

“This is proof of President Biden’s commitment to building resilient and secure supply chains,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.

“Japan is one of our most valued trading partners, and this agreement will enable us to deepen our existing bilateral relationship.”

“This is a welcome moment as the US continues to work with our allies and partners to strengthen supply chains for critical minerals, including through the Inflation Reduction Act,” she further added.

Strengthening supply chains and promoting sustainable technologies

For information, the agreement establishes several new commitments and areas for cooperation regarding electric vehicle batteries and critical minerals supply chains between the US and Japan.

These include the non-imposition of export duties on critical minerals and domestic measures to address non-market policies and practices of other countries affecting trade in these minerals.

Furthermore, best practices regarding the review of investments within their territories in the critical minerals sector by foreign entities are also encompassed.

Likewise, the agreement outlines measures that promote more resource-efficient and circular economy approaches to reduce the demand for and environmental impact of virgin material extraction and related processes.

It also entails several key actions related to labor rights in minerals extraction and processing. These actions include engaging with stakeholders, sharing information, and enforcing labor rights to ensure compliance with regulations.

Additionally, efforts will be made to remediate any violations of labor rights connected to critical minerals supply chains and to promote employer neutrality in union organizing and operations.

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Notably, the agreement entered into force immediately upon signature, paving the way for closer cooperation between the US and Japan on critical minerals supply chains and electric vehicle battery technologies.

Industry leaders and government officials in both countries have welcomed the agreement, noting that it will help to ensure the sustainable, secure, and reliable supply of critical minerals necessary for the global transition to a clean energy future.