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The minerals are used in a wide variety of products ranging from lasers, computer chips, electric vehicles, solar panels, smartphones and military equipment such as weapons guidance systems. Here, Cameco’s Cigar Lake mine in Saskatchewan.David Stobbe/Reuters

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says Canada is ready and willing to supply the United States with strategically important minerals used in consumer and industrial products as Washington steps up efforts to cut its dependence on China.

At a White House meeting in late June, Mr. Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to negotiate a joint strategy on mineral collaboration. The United States is also seeking alliances with Australia, Japan and the European Union, which also fear relying too much on China for these minerals.

“I brought up this at the top of my conversation in my last meeting with Donald Trump, where I highlighted that Canada has many of the rare-earth minerals that are so necessary for modern technologies,” Mr. Trudeau told a news conference on Monday in Toronto. The rare earths are 17 minerals used in high-tech and military products such as smartphones, electric cars and fifth-generation fighter jets.

He was commenting on a report in The Globe and Mail on Monday that Canadian and U.S. officials are drawing up an action plan to reduce both countries’ reliance on China for such minerals.

“Many of them come from China – it is in our interest to ensure that we have reliable supplies of these important minerals for technologies, and it’s a conversation that our government is leading on,”​ Mr. Trudeau said.

The United States has been concerned about its dependence on foreign minerals since 2010, when Beijing embargoed their export to Japan during a diplomatic row over disputed islands.

It took on added urgency when Beijing threatened to curtail shipments to the United States as leverage in the trade war earlier this year.

In 2018, acting on a presidential order, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Department of Defence listed 35 mineral commodities considered crucial to the economic and national security of the United States. Of these, China was the top supplier of 13 and the top producer of nearly 20. The list includes the rare earths.

The minerals are used in a wide variety of products ranging from lasers, computer chips, electric vehicles, solar panels, smartphones and military equipment such as weapons guidance systems.

The joint Canada-U.S. action plan will be presented to the political party that forms government after the Oct. 21 election, according to a federal briefing document obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The document says the action plan should include defence funding for projects that use the minerals, strategic investments in North American processing facilities, and more research and development in extraction.

Senior Canadian officials involved in economic and security issues have been meeting since July to discuss how Ottawa and Washington can secure access to minerals and metals such as uranium, lithium, cesium and cobalt.

The U.S. list includes six minerals for which Canada was the top supplier, including aluminum (aircraft, power transmission lines, alloys), cesium and rubidium, which often occur together (medical applications, global-positioning satellites and night-vision devices), indium (flat-panel displays, special alloys), potash (fertilizer), tellurium (infrared devices and solar cells) and uranium (nuclear and medical applications).

China has been securing supplies of such minerals and buying stakes in mining projects in Africa, South America, Greenland, Australia and Canada. In recent years, Chinese firms have also bought stakes in Canadian companies that extract cesium, uranium, chromite, the main source of chromium – a key ingredient in stainless steel – as well as lithium.

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