Administration officials have acknowledged China’s likely continued role in the U.S. supply chain, but have touted Democrats’ climate law and other recent legislation that invests in domestic manufacturing as a way to create a homegrown clean-energy economy.
During the energy summit in D.C., Burke urged cooperation with China and other countries as part of the green transition, including for the many critical minerals that the U.S. does not currently mine or produce at home.
“If that becomes just a head-to-head competition and we don’t work together at all, it’s going to be to the detriment of both of our countries,” Burke said.
She said mining and refining those minerals in the U.S. and its close partners will also be necessary, but the U.S. should also “find a way to leave bridges open with China,” which has significant advantages in rare earth elements.
“We need the world to remain open and able to trade and to move things around. But if we really separated the blocs, we’re all going to mutually lose from that,” Burke said.