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Business News/ News / Yellen Praises Ties With Chile, a Vital Part of EV Supply Chain
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Yellen Praises Ties With Chile, a Vital Part of EV Supply Chain

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen championed robust US relations with Chile on Saturday, saying that the two nations could help one another achieve goals involving climate and energy.

Yellen Praises Ties With Chile, a Vital Part of EV Supply ChainPremium
Yellen Praises Ties With Chile, a Vital Part of EV Supply Chain

(Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen championed robust US relations with Chile on Saturday, saying that the two nations could help one another achieve goals involving climate and energy.  

Yellen’s comments, delivered after a visit to Albemarle Corp’s lithium processing facility in the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta, punctuated a trip intended to strengthen ties with an ally rich a mineral essential to the Biden administration’s electric vehicle vision.

“As we accelerate toward a clean energy future, our already strong economic relationship is poised for further strengthening," Yellen said, according to prepared remarks.

The Treasury chief met with top officials in Santiago on Friday including President Gabriel Boric, Finance Minister Mario Marcel and Rosanna Costa, president of the central bank.

Chile has the world’s largest reserves of lithium – a key metal for making batteries that power EVs — and is the No. 2 supplier after Australia.

That also makes it a vital partner for China, by far the top global EV producer, which last year bought about two-thirds of Chile’s lithium exports.

‘Friend-Shoring’ 

The Biden administration is backing domestic EV plants with massive subsidies, as it seeks to grab a bigger share of the industry. At the same time, it’s pushing companies to secure materials from countries other than China.

“Parts of our key supply chains, including for clean energy, are currently over-concentrated in China," Yellen said, adding that this makes the US more vulnerable to supply chain shocks.

Earlier: US Bid to Loosen China’s Grip on Key Metals for EVs Is Stalling

In order to mitigate that risk, the Biden administration has pursued a “friend-shoring" agenda to make US supply lines less dependent on China.

As a free-trade partner with the US for more than two decades, Chile stands to benefit from President Joe Biden’s green stimulus program, potentially the increasing demand for its lithium. Trade between the countries has grown about 9% a year since 2003.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 03 Mar 2024, 12:55 AM IST
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