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US and Japan sign critical minerals agreement

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Tomita Koji, signed a critical minerals agreement. The agreement builds on the 2019 US-Japan Trade Agreement and will strengthen and diversify critical minerals supply chains and promote the adoption of electric vehicle battery technologies.

In particular, the agreement memorializes the shared commitment of the United States and Japan with respect to the critical minerals sector to facilitate trade, promote fair competition and market-oriented conditions for trade in critical minerals, advance robust labor and environmental standards, and cooperate in efforts to ensure secure, transparent, sustainable, and equitable critical minerals supply chains.

The agreement establishes several new commitments and areas for joint cooperation regarding electric vehicle battery critical minerals supply chains between the United States and Japan, including those related to:

  • Non-imposition of export duties on critical minerals;

  • Domestic measures to address non-market policies and practices of other countries affecting trade in critical minerals;

  • Best practices regarding review of investments within their territories in the critical minerals sector by foreign entities;

  • 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;

  • Engagement, information-sharing, and enforcement actions related to labor rights in critical minerals extraction and processing;

  • Remedying violations of labor rights at entities connected to critical minerals supply chains; and

  • Promoting employer neutrality in union organizing and operations.

The agreement entered into force immediately upon signature.


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